Achilles tendonitis can cause pain at the back of the heel due to inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon stretches from the bone of the heel to the calf, and when you injure it, you may feel pain along with other symptoms. Achilles tendonitis can often be treated at home, but for more severe cases, surgery may be needed to repair the tendon.
Achilles tendonitis is the result of repetitive stress or overuse of the Achilles tendon. This condition can develop if you increase the intensity of a workout too quickly and/or increase the amount of your physical exercise; if you have tight calf muscles; or you have a bone spur where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone.
Some common signs of Achilles tendonitis are:
- Pain and swelling in the back of the heel after activity
- Calf muscles that feel tight
- Heel feels warm to the touch
- Limited range of motion in the ankle
- Stiffness after a period of rest
Pain from Achilles tendonitis may be more severe after long periods of exercise or activities that use the muscles in the calves such as climbing stairs or running.
Diagnosing and Treated Achilles Tendonitis
If you have signs of Achilles tendonitis, consult with a podiatrist. To diagnose this condition, a podiatrist will examine your ankle and foot and check for signs such as pain and swelling along the back of your heel, areas of tenderness, and if you have a limited range of motion in your ankle. If the pain is severe, it’s possible that the Achilles tendon may have ruptured. To confirm the diagnosis, imaging tests such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI may be ordered.
Achilles tendonitis can often be cared for at home. Some treatment options include:
In addition, your podiatrist may recommend over-the-counter pain medication, custom orthotics, and/or physical therapy. In more severe or chronic cases, surgery may be needed to repair the tendon.
Contact a Podiatrist
If you are experiencing symptoms of Achilles tendonitis and need a podiatrist, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists. To schedule an appointment in our Grapevine or Keller office, fill out our online contact form, or call us today.