What is Inflamed Achilles Tendon & How is it Treated?

What is Inflamed Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is an extremely important structure of the body. This tendon joins the calf muscle to the heel bone and traverses behind the lower leg. Any sort of excessive pressure or strain to this tendon can cause it to get inflamed or swell resulting in what is termed as Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It is immensely powerful and can withstand any impact but is still susceptible to injuries.

High impact exercises are believed to be the primary cause for Inflamed Achilles Tendon. Running long distances repetitively also is one of the causes for Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis. If this condition is left untreated then it may lead to a tendon tear which may cause severe disabling pain behind the leg and make it difficult for the affected individual to even ambulate normally.

What is Inflamed Achilles Tendon & How is it Treated?

Some of the presenting features of Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis are constant nagging pain behind the leg just at the level of the calf. The lower leg will feel stiff and sore, especially after exercising. There may be swelling of the area behind the leg and in some cases there may be formation of a bump.

How Do You Treat An Inflamed Achilles?

The treatment for Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis is aimed at providing pain relief and calm down the swelling and inflammation. The treatment rendered will depend on the severity of the injury and the activities of the individual. Some of the treatment options available for treating Inflamed Achilles Tendon are:

Application of Ice: This can be done for 15-20 minutes two to three times a day, especially after exercising to reduce pain and inflammation.

Rest: Giving the affected leg ample amount of rest to allow the tendon to heal is yet another treatment option available for Inflamed Achilles.

For mild cases, just reducing the intensity of exercises is good enough but for more severe cases complete abstinence from any workout may be required for treating Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis. To reduce swelling, it is recommended to elevate the affected leg above the level of the heart to reduce swelling.

Medications: NSAIDs in the form of ibuprofen and Tylenol may be prescribed to control pain and reduce inflammation. It is recommended that individuals with a history of renal problems or asthma first check with the physician before embarking on this form of treatment.

Steroids: if the above modes of treatment are ineffective then the physician may recommend steroid injections to decrease pain and inflammation associated with Inflamed Achilles Tendon.

Compression Bandages and Orthotics: In some cases, shoe inserts and ankle supports are quite useful in taking the pressure off of the tendon and allowing the Inflamed Achilles Tendon to heal.

Surgery: This option is considered when all other conservative modes of treatment fail to provide any relief from the symptoms of Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis. The surgery of choice to treat this condition is called gastrocnemius recession. This procedure involves lengthening of the muscle of the calf and provides the ankle a wider range of motion which in turn provides symptom relief.

Exercises: This is yet another way to treat Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis. The best exercise to do for this condition is the calf stretch. This can be done by leaning forwards with the hands against the wall.

The individual needs to keep one foot on the ground straight and the other foot with the knee bent in front of it. Now the hips need to be pushed toward the wall and main this position for about 15 seconds. Come back to the original position and repeat the exercise for about 15 times.

This exercise will hasten the recovery of the tendon and allow the affected individual to get back to normal activities at the earliest possible time after Inflamed Achilles Tendon or Achilles Tendonitis.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 17, 2018

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