Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis

Overview

What Is Achilles Tendonitis?

Tendons are cord-like structures that connect muscle to bone. The Achilles tendon runs down the back of your heel and attaches your calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis happens when sudden starts and stops cause inflammation in the Achilles tendon.

Achilles tendonitis is one of the most common sports injuries – but at Aurora, you’re never just a number. After hearing about your unique situation and symptoms, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan to get you back to your favorite activities.

Whatever the cause of your Achilles pain, we can help. Our treatment options include special footwear, physical therapy and surgery.

The Aurora Difference

Advanced Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis

At Aurora Health Care, we’re committed to lasting pain relief and long-term injury prevention. We also understand how frustrating sports injuries like Achilles tendonitis can be. That’s because many of our doctors, athletic trainers and physical therapists are current and former athletes themselves.

When you choose us for Achilles tendon care, you’ll get:

  • Easy access to sports medicine experts: Achilles tendonitis is uncomfortable, which is why we help you get care as quickly as possible. Our physical therapists and licensed athletic trainers can accurately diagnose Achilles tendonitis and help you get the care you need, often right in your neighborhood. Even better, we can usually get you in for an appointment within one business day. Get sports health care.
  • Foot and ankle expertise: Our team includes doctors (orthopedists) who specialize in treating foot and ankle problems like Achilles tendonitis. This expertise helps us get to the bottom of stubborn symptoms that just won’t quit.
  • Additional therapies to relieve pain: We offer additional treatments, like acupuncture, which may help speed your recovery. Our trained acupuncturists insert hair-thin needles near the Achilles tendon to restore your body’s natural flow of energy (Qi or “chee”) and promote healing. Find out more about acupuncture.

Symptoms & Causes

Signs of Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is often a sign that too much stress has been placed on your body. Known as an “overuse injury,” this condition occurs when the tendon becomes worn out from too much activity and not enough rest.

Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis occur along the back of your heel and may include:

  • Stiffness in the morning or after sitting still for a long period of time
  • Pain that gets worse with physical activity
  • Sharp pain that starts the day after a lot of physical activity
  • Swelling that doesn’t go away and gets worse as the day goes on

Diagnosis

Achilles Tendonitis Tests & Imaging

Our sports medicine experts get to the source of the pain so you can get on the road to recovery. During diagnosis, we’ll perform a complete exam before developing a treatment plan to address your unique needs.

Your exam may include:

  • Discussion with the doctor so you can describe the symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • A physical exam, where the doctor looks for common signs of Achilles tendonitis. These signs may include a thickening of the tendon or difficulty pulling your toes up toward your body (flexing your foot).
  • Imaging tests like X-rays. These tests can help your doctor spot complications, like a hardening of the tendon.

Find out more about orthopedic diagnosis.

Treatment

Treating Achilles Tendonitis

Our large team of experts has deep experience in helping athletes and active people overcome Achilles tendonitis.

At Aurora, you’ll have access to a broad range of treatments, including:

  • Special footwear: Wearing a foot orthotic in your shoe may reduce irritation along the Achilles tendon. If standard orthotics don’t do the trick, a semi-custom foot orthotic can help by correcting common problems, like inward-turning heels. Find out more about custom foot orthotics.
  • Physical therapy: Our physical therapists can help relieve Achilles discomfort and ease you back into activities with special exercises. Find out more about orthopedic physical therapy.
  • Surgery: In rare cases – like with a torn or severely damaged Achilles tendon – surgery may be necessary. Our surgeons use sophisticated tools and the smallest necessary incision so you can recover quickly. Learn more about minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.

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