Your Achilles tendon, located along the back of your foot just above your heel, connects your heel to the muscles of your calf and helps push your foot forward when you walk. If your tendon becomes swollen or irritated, it often leads to a painful condition called Achilles tendonitis, so it’s important to seek care from Nina Coletta, DPM, PA in Plantation, Florida, at the first sign of trouble to receive expert care from one of Broward County’s leading podiatrists before your Achilles tendonitis makes walking almost impossible. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
There are two main types of Achilles tendonitis: non-insertional Achilles tendonitis and insertional Achilles tendonitis.
If Dr. Coletta diagnoses you with non-insertional Achilles tendonitis, that means the fibers in the middle portion of your tendon have started to break down and have tiny tears, swelling, and thickening.
This type of tendonitis most commonly affects younger, active people.
Insertional Achilles Tendonitis affects the lower portion of your heel, where your tendon attaches to your heel bone. Bone spurs are typical with this type of tendonitis.
Both types of Achilles tendonitis cause your tendon fibers to harden.
Some actions often lead to Achilles Tendinitis, including:
The structure of your Achilles Tendon weakens with age, making it more susceptible to injury, especially if you participate in sports only on occasion or suddenly increase the intensity of your running.
To diagnose your Achilles Tendonitis, Dr. Coletta performs a physical exam and gently presses on the affected area. She does this to determine the exact location of your pain, as well as the intensity of your tenderness or swelling. Dr. Coletta also evaluates the flexibility, alignment, range of motion and reflexes of both your foot and ankle.
Additionally, Dr. Coletta orders imaging testing to assess your condition, including X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs.
Once Dr. Coletta diagnoses you with Achilles Tendonitis, she recommends you begin treating your injury following the RICE protocol:
Dr. Coletta also recommends over-the-counter pain medications, including ibuprofen and naproxen, and prescribes stronger medicines to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Additionally, Dr. Coletta offers physical therapy, which includes specific stretching and strengthening exercises designed to help promote healing and strengthening of your Achilles tendon and its supporting structures.
Another option Dr. Coletta offers is orthotic devices, including shoe inserts and wedges that slightly elevate your heel, to help relieve strain on your tendon and also provides a cushion to lessen the force exerted on your Achilles tendon.
To get help with the pain associated with Achilles tendonitis, call Dr. Coletta’s office or schedule an appointment online today.