Achilles Tendinitis in Miami, FL
The Advanced Neuro and Spine Institute specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of orthopedic conditions and diseases such as Achilles tendinitis. Our team of experts delivers the latest advances in personalized, comprehensive care to patients in our conveniently located clinics in Aventura, Kendall, Hialeah, and Fort Lauderdale.
What Is Achilles Tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is a condition causing pain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, and is essential for walking, running, and jumping. Over time, it may develop tendinitis from such habits as poor posture, repetitive motor injuries, and degeneration from overuse. Achilles tendinitis may also cause damaged tendon fibers to harden or calcify, accounting for two types of Achilles tendinitis, characterized by which part of the tendon is inflamed.
Noninsertional Achilles Tendinitis
Noninsertional Achilles tendinitis is characterized by degeneration, tearing, and inflammation of the fibers in the middle portion of the Achilles tendon and usually affects younger people.
Insertional Achilles Tendinitis
Insertional Achilles tendinitis affects the lower portion of the heel, at the point where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. This type of tendinitis may affect patients of any age, and even those who are not active and/or sedentary, with bone spurs often developing as a result of calcification of the damaged, hardened fibers in the tendon.
What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is most commonly caused by repetitive stress to the tendon, rather than by a specific injury. It is often the result of overextending the body, or by suddenly increasing the amount or the intensity of an activity, such as suddenly doubling the distance walked daily, or suddenly walking the same distance in half the time. Also contributing to Achilles tendinitis are extremely tight calf muscles, as the Achilles tendon becomes overly stressed from compensating for the calf muscles.
Achilles tendinitis typically manifests itself in any combination of the following symptoms:
- Pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon in the morning, and worsening throughout the day.
- Severe pain after exercising.
- Thickening of the Achilles tendon.
- Bone spurs (insertional tendinitis).
- Increased swelling throughout the day, when partaking in activities.
- Ruptured or torn Achilles tendon, typified by a sudden “pop” in the back of the calf or heel.
How is Achilles Tendinitis Treated?
Achilles tendinitis can often be managed by nonsurgical treatment options, which provide relief of pain and inflammation, although recovery time might require a few months for symptoms to disappear completely. Applying ice to the affected area may provide temporary relief. Medications, orthopedic shoes, or orthotic devices, may also be helpful with managing pain and assist with walking. Exercise routines, in addition to discontinuing those activities which have created or exacerbated the problem- may also be required.
For example, if running has been putting too much pressure on the Achilles tendon, you might consider switching to other, more passive activities, such as biking or swimming. Physical therapy has also proved highly effective in relieving the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis, and the physical therapists at Advanced Neuro and Spine Institute offer a wide variety of therapeutic treatments.
If the pain does not ease after six months of non-surgical therapy and pain management, surgery may be recommended.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you would like more information on Achilles tendinitis treatment, please contact one of our conveniently located clinics in Aventura, Kendall, Hialeah, and Fort Lauderdale.