26. October 2015 13:32
Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body that connects the calf muscle at the back of lower leg to the heel bone. Achilles Tendinitis occurs due to overuse or degeneration of this tendon. Athletes who participate in sports activities such as running, gymnastics, football, tennis etc. are at higher risk of developing this condition.
- Strenuous activities
- Bone spurs
- Tightening of calf muscles
- Wearing high heels
- Pain along the back of the foot
- Difficulty pointing your toes
The doctor may perform X-rays to determine the severity of the condition. He may also conduct an MRI scan to check for any tear in the Achilles tendon.
- Rest: A doctor may recommend the patient to take rest to provide relief from pain. He may also advice to avoid any vigorous activities such as running, jumping etc. until the condition improves.
- Ice: Applying ice at regular intervals on the affected area may help in reducing the swelling.
- Compression: Using an elastic bandage can provide support and help in minimizing inflammation.
- Elevation: Elevating your leg using a pillow may also help in the fast recovery of the condition.
- Medication Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed by the doctor to reduce pain and swelling.
- Inserts: Wearing inserts in shoes can help your Achilles tendon from further stretching and help in fast recovery. Orthotics devices such as heel lifts reduce the strain on this tendon.
- Strengthening Exercises: A physical therapist may recommend some specific exercises to increase flexibility and strength of the muscles.
In severe cases of Achilles Tendinitis, the doctor may recommend any of the following surgical procedures to repair the damaged tendons:
- Gastrocnemius Recession: The procedure involves lengthening of the calf muscles with the help of small incisions using an endoscope. This surgery is performed to treat patients who have difficulty in flexing their feet. It is done to provide flexibility to the ankle.
- Debridement and repair: In this method, the surgeon removes the damaged Achilles tendon and repairs it with stitches.
- Reduce uphill running as it can pressurize the Achilles tendon
- Wear shoes with good support
- Increased the intensity of exercises gradually
- Avoid exercising, if you feel pain at the back of your calf