Digital 3D image of a pair of calves and feet, showing where achilles tendinitis occurs.

What Is Achilles Tendinitis and How Can You Treat It?

Achilles tendinitis is an issue that affects millions of people worldwide by causing pain in the feet and legs. Occasionally, this pain can become so harsh that daily tasks such as walking and bending down are difficult.


The good thing is that there is a way to treat it. With the help of a podiatrist, Achilles tendinitis can be treated in almost no time with not much effort.


Keep reading to learn more.

 

What Is Achilles Tendinitis?


The Achilles tendon runs from the bottom of your heel to your calf muscles. it's the tendon in your body that helps you perform many daily functions such as jumping and walking. It also helps you balance on the balls of your feet.


Tendinitis refers to an inflammation of any tendon in your body. Putting these two together, we can understand that Achilles tendinitis is simply just the inflammation of your Achilles tendon.
However, there are two variations of Achilles tendinitis. The first is insertional Achilles tendinitis.

This occurs at the lower part of your Achilles tendon, where your heel bone is.


The second is non-insertional Achilles tendinitis. This affects the mid to upper region of your calf muscles and is most prevalent in young athletes.


What Causes It?


Extensive and intense physical activity that involves the calves and feet, such as long-distance running and ballet dancing, is the most common cause of Achilles tendinitis. Improper mechanics in walking and running or excessive standing can also cause Achilles tendinitis.


Achilles Tendinitis symptoms include:


• Cramps
• Pain in the lower leg and foot
• Swelling
• The sensation of losing blood flow
• Trouble bending down


The inflammation might also radiate to other areas and cause more pain.


Can It Be Cured?


Yes! Achilles tendinitis is very much curable so long as you put effort into both rest and therapy. Working with a podiatrist or a general doctor is crucial in this process as they'll recommend ways to treat your feet with care.


However, there may be cases where Achilles tendinitis can cause more harm than necessary. This can be easily avoidable by seeking help as soon as you feel pain or other symptoms.


Treating Achilles Tendinitis


First, you'll need to see a doctor that can diagnose you with Achilles tendinitis. They can do so by taking a simple X-ray or MRI scan of the Achilles tendon. Doing this can help remove any belief that the pain or inflammation may be due to something else, such as an infection.


Your doctor might then recommend you to a podiatrist at a clinic if the case is mild to severe.

During your podiatrist visit, you'll be introduced to exercises you can do at the clinic and at home that can help offset the pain.


Additionally, they can help weird identity patterns in walking or running that might be causing your tendons to become inflamed and help fix them.


In worst-case scenarios, your doctor might recommend surgery or injections. This is the case for tendons that are either severely inflamed due to one incident or have become so due to putting off seeing a doctor for pain.


Other methods of treating include:


• Medication
The RICE method
• Stretching
• Home or bed rest


Speak to your podiatrist about additional options of treatment such as medical braces or casts.


Scheduling Your Podiatrist Appointment


If you feel like you've been suffering from Achilles tendinitis, please be aware that it is quite common and very much treatable.


But in order to prevent further damage, obtaining an appointment with a podiatrist at your earliest convenience is of the utmost importance. If you're in the Calgary, Alberta area, please reach out to us at Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic to find out more information about an appointment.