Your Achilles tendon endures extreme stress as it lifts your heel every time you take a step, jump, or stand on tiptoes. At Foot & Ankle Affiliates, Eric Abrams, DPM, helps his patients prevent the complications of Achilles tendonitis with therapies that promote healing before inflammation leads to progressive tendon damage. As an expert who stays on the leading edge of treatments, Dr. Abrams also offers extracorporeal pulse activation technology (EPAT), a noninvasive therapy that accelerates healing. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Eatontown and Toms River, New Jersey, or reserve an appointment online.
Achilles tendonitis refers to an inflamed tendon, a problem that’s usually caused by overuse. Small tears develop in the tendon when it’s repeatedly used. If your body has time to repair the injuries, you won’t develop tendonitis.
In most cases, however, patients keep using the tendon, without giving it enough time to heal. As a result, inflammation develops and over time, ongoing inflammation leads to tendon degeneration.
Achilles tendonitis often develops when you:
Although athletes and weekend warriors have a high risk of Achilles tendonitis, anyone who frequently runs or walks can develop the condition.
Tendons throughout your body allow you to move by attaching the end of muscles to bones. Your Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to your heel, where it’s responsible for raising your heel every time you take a step.
When inflammation develops, you’ll experience:
Heel pain due to Achilles tendonitis is worse when you take your first steps in the morning or after resting. You may have an aching pain, burning pain, or a severe piercing pain.
Dr. Abrams customizes your treatment based on the severity of the inflammation and tendon damage. The first step is to reduce or stop engaging in activities that put stress on your Achilles tendon. In severe cases, you may need a cast or walking boot to temporarily immobilize the tendon and allow it to heal.
Your treatment plan may also include ice, physical therapy, or a program of stretching exercises. If you have a structural problem or gait abnormality that contributes to the injuries, you may benefit from custom orthotics.
The team at Foot & Ankle Affiliates also offer an innovative treatment called extracorporeal pulse activation technology (EPAT). EPAT uses acoustic energy to stimulate blood flow and accelerate tendon healing.
If your pain doesn’t improve after about six months of conservative treatment, Dr. Abrams may recommend surgery to remove the damaged portion of the tendon or lengthen your calf muscle.
If you suffer with heel pain, call Foot & Ankle Affiliates, or request an appointment online.