Do you have questions about Achilles tendonitis? We have answers.
Do you have questions about the cause or treatment of Achilles tendonitis? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the condition. If you would like to schedule an appointment to learn more about your Achilles tendon problem and how to get out of pain, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider at (713) 785-7881.
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How do I know my Achilles tendon isn't ruptured?
Any Achilles tendon injury should be seen by your podiatrist. What may seem like an inflammation can be a partial rupture of the tendon. In our Houston podiatry office, we work with many imaging centers to get you an MRI quickly. It's important to know if there is a partial rupture of the tendon, since it will be weakened and can progress to a complete rupture.
A complete rupture of the Achilles tendon is a dramatic injury. It feels like someone kicked you in the back of the leg followed by severe pain. Complete ruptures usually require surgery to repair and you should never wait to get it examined.
Is medication the only treatment for Achilles tendon pain?
Medication, usually anti-inflammatory medication, is an important treatment for Achilles tendon pain. It is not the only treatment. Many people benefit from physical therapy modalities, such as TENS units and ultrasound. Others benefit from the use of cold-laser therapy, such as the K-laser. Still others improve after using extra-corporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT).
It is also vitally important to address the mechanical causes of the Achilles tendon pain and inflammation. Without focusing on the biomechanical causes of the stress on the Achilles tendon, the pain and inflammation is likely to come back with time. The most common way of treating the mechanical causes of Achilles tendon pain is using a custom foot orthotic.
Will stretching help my Achilles tendon problem?
Stretching is an important adjunct for treatment of any tendon injury, especially the Achilles tendon. Stretching mobilizes the muscle fibers and aids in reducing inflammation. You can overstretch, however. Be careful to not stretch through pain. When you start to feel discomfort in your Achilles tendon, back off a bit.
Most people only stretch before exercise. It's best to warm up a bit before you stretch. You should Aldo take time to stretch again after you finish your exercise. On days where you don't run or exercise, you should still do your basic stretching routine.
Can a cortisone shot cure my Achilles tendon pain?
Not only can't a cortisone shot help or cure the pain in your Achilles tendon, it can make it much worse. There are a few areas that should never be injected with cortisone. The Achilles tendon is one of them.
There is an area of the Achilles tendon that has a reduced blood supply. This is the area that most commonly becomes inflamed or injured. Because of this reduced blood flow to the tendon, it can become weakened when injected with cortisone, even in very low doses. For that reason, we never will inject cortisone in or around the Achilles tendon.
My Achilles tendon is swollen, is that normal?
Swelling in your foot or ankle is never normal, especially when it comes to the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is one of the strongest tendons in the body. It is responsible for lifting the heel (called plantarflexion) with every step you take both running and walking.
Swelling of the Achilles tendon can be an inflammation of the tendon itself, known as Achilles tendinitis, or a partial tear of the tendon. The extent of the injury to the tendon often requires an MRI to diagnose. Don't wait!