The day after a particularly intense workout or a long run you may notice pain ranging from mild to extreme in the lower part of the back of your leg. Or, you may be noticing a sluggish feeling in your leg accompanied by stiffness and/or a dull ache that lessens as you stretch the leg and get going with your day. All of these are possible symptoms of Achilles tendonitis—an inflammation of the large tendon that runs between the bottom of your calf muscle and your heel that we see often at Superior Foot & Ankle Center.
Tendonitis is primarily caused by overuse or trauma to the tendon. Scenarios that can result in inflammation and injury to the Achilles tendon include:
- Suddenly increasing the distance or intensity of your run or workout
- Doing too much too soon in a new exercise routine or starting up after a period of inactivity
- Inappropriate footwear choices
- Not stretching enough before sports or exercise
- A trauma to the tendon caused by a sudden or wrenching movement (like taking off for a sprint)
- Heel bone deformity
- Age related wear and tear
Treatment and Prevention
Mild cases of Achilles tendonitis can be resolved by resting the leg and avoiding activities that put stress on the tendon. If the pain is persistent however, and doesn’t seem to improve with rest, it’s time for an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas. The foot doctor can evaluate just how severe the tendonitis is and make recommendations for relief. These may include: icing, specific stretching exercises to do before and after exercise and a heel cup or other orthotic device to help prevent overpronation and increase arch support. Wearing properly fitting shoes that are designed for the sport or activity you do and following a sound program that increases in intensity gradually can help prevent inflammation the Achilles tendon.
To learn more about how to prevent or treat Achilles tendonitis, call our Long Beach office at: (562) 420-9800.