The Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
Your Achilles Tendon is the band of tissue connecting your lower back calf muscle to your heel and is most often injured by runners and older individuals who play sports on weekends. If you develop Achilles tendinitis you most likely can treat from home with your doctors supervision, but if it is not treated effectively you may end up tearing the tissue and having to have corrective surgery.
If you are unsure if this is your diagnoses some symptoms you can look for are a mild ache following a run on the back of your leg above the heel, stiffness and or tenderness in this same region. Pain intensity is directly related to how challenging you are running, pushing, and straining that tissue. If the pain persists after you stop exercising you should contact your doctor. If the pain is severe enough to be debilitating you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Your Achilles Tendon weakens with age. Other factors that contribute to the possibility of having this are gender, physical attributes, coaching options, medical conditions, and medicines. Older men are at a greater risk then any other people. Men and women who have flat arches have a tendency to stretch the tissue more then other people. Obesity and individuals with tight calf muscles are also at greater risk than others. If you put on worn out shoes or run through hilly locations you are also at a greater danger. Interestingly, colder weather puts everyone at greater risk then warm weather. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes your body is at a greater risk.
What does all this imply for you. If left untreated the tissue will become weaker and weaker and will at some point tear which will require you having surgery to repair it.
Now that you’ve decided that you do have Achilles tendinitis, what now? Make an appointment with your sports physiotherapist if they believe that it is beyond their knowledge they will refer you to a sports medicine specialist or a rehabilitation specialist. If they decide that the tissue is already torn they will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.
Before going into your appointment have all your concerns and thoughts written down or memorized. Being aware of if the pain was sudden or developed progressively, when your symptoms are at their worst or most intense, what you are doing at those times, what shoes you wear when carrying out intense sports or exercise, and what medications and Supplements you take on a day-to-day basis. Your doctor will ask you things about your normal exercise routine, if you have changed something in it, and what you have been doing for the pain.
You might have a series of tests done to diagnose the exact issue some of which may include x-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs. Once diagnosed the majority of the time it can be treated at home with over the counter pain relievers like Advil, Aleve, and so on. If those are not working your doctor might give you a prescription for stronger non-inflammatory drugs. You might have to wear orthopedic shoes that elevate the heel some to relieve tension and you might also have to do a series of stretches of the muscles and tissue as part of your treatment. A physical therapist will give you more details. Then, once again the most invasive procedure to treat chronic Achilles tendinitis would be surgery to repair the tissue that was torn or just will not respond to the other treatment.
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