Tips For Dealing With Achilles Tendonitis

If you have pain above the heel of your foot, you may have Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon runs from your calf to your heel bone. When you injure it, you can feel pain anywhere along the lower back of your leg, but it's common to feel the pain just above your heel. Achilles tendonitis is fairly common, but you shouldn't ignore it because repeated injury can lead to more serious problems such as a rupture of the tendon. Here are a few things to know about treating the condition.

Rest Your Foot And Leg

Tendonitis is pain and inflammation of the tendon. This usually happens because of an injury, and your Achilles tendon is more likely to be injured when you suddenly take up an activity that stresses the tendon, such as running. If you notice pain above your heel the first day you start your running regimen, you should rest as much as possible until the pain goes away. If you're training for an event, you should probably see a foot doctor for advice. The danger in continually stressing your tendon is that it can develop tears that make it weak. The tears can then suddenly rupture, and that will leave you unable to run or walk at all until it heals.

Try Ice And Elevation

The good news is mild tendonitis usually clears up quickly if you rest your foot and allow it to heal. Try elevating your foot and applying ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. You may notice that your pain comes and goes. It might be worse when you first get out of bed in the morning, and then lessens once you move around. However, once you've been on your feet for awhile, the pain will probably return. Therefore, you may need to stay off your leg as much as possible. The foot doctor may even recommend crutches to keep weight off your foot and leg until your tendon heals.

Use A Splint Or Shoe Insert

An orthotic device may help, but you want to use the right one or you may stress your tendon even more. Your podiatrist may recommend a heel lift for your shoe. This supports your Achilles tendon and keeps it from stretching too much when you walk. Wearing a splint may help too, especially at night when you sleep. This holds your tendon in a stretched position so it doesn't tighten up and cause you pain when you walk first thing in the morning. If you have a large tear in the tendon, you could even have to wear a cast to support your foot and lower leg while the tendon heals.

Even though rest is important, your doctor may recommend exercises that stretch and strengthen your foot and lower leg. These gentle exercise may help you heal faster and reduce the risk of further damage. You may need to stop running for a while, but you can probably still exercise as long as you choose a low impact activity such as swimming. For more information, contact a company like Foot & Ankle Center Of Philadelphia.