Achilles Tendonitis Specialist

Nina L. Coletta, DPM, PA

Podiatrist located in Plantation, FL

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.

Achilles Tendonitis Q & A

What Is Achilles Tendonitis?

There are two main types of Achilles tendonitis: non-insertional Achilles tendonitis and insertional Achilles tendonitis.

Non-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

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.

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

Some actions often lead to Achilles Tendinitis, including:

  • Repetitive or intense strain
  • Excessive exercise
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infection
  • Old or poorly fitting shoes
  • Exercising without warming up

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.

How Is Achilles Tendonitis Diagnosed?

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.

How Is Achilles Tendonitis Treated?

Once Dr. Coletta diagnoses you with Achilles Tendonitis, she recommends you begin treating your injury following the RICE protocol:

  • Rest: avoid exercise for several days
  • Ice: decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack to your tendon for 15 minutes after exercising and when you have pain
  • Compression: Wraps help reduce swelling and muscle movement
  • Elevation: Raise your affected foot above your heart to reduce swelling and sleep with it elevated

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.