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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 02, 2015

Did you know that your Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, is the largest tendon in the human body? It can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. Inflammation of this tendon, known as Achilles tendonitis, is also one of the more common causes of visits to the southwestern PA office of Philip S. Pinsker, D.P.M.

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is a condition that can affect both professional athletes and weekend warriors. It is what’s called an “overuse injury.” Many times, in non-professionals it’s due to starting up or accelerating an exercise program too quickly, such as when you start up an exercise after not having done it for several weeks or months or rapidly increasing your mileage or speed when walking or jogging. Hill running and stair climbing can also cause inflammation in this area because of the strain placed on the calf muscles. Other causes include sprinting and improperly fitting footwear.

What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptom of Achilles tendonitis is pain during and after exercising that may be mild at first but gradually worsens. You may notice swelling in your Achilles tendon area and also tenderness about an inch and a half above the point where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. Sluggishness in your leg and stiffness that generally lessens as the tendon warms up is not unusual.

How is Achilles Tendonitis Treated?

Our board certified foot doctor, Philip S. Pinsker will want to hear about the circumstances surrounding your pain and discomfort and the activities you do. If after a thorough examination of your leg, ankle, and foot, a diagnosis of Achilles tendonitis is confirmed, the following treatment methods are commonly employed:

  • Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to treat the pain and inflammation
  • Rest
  • Massage and ultrasound
  • Modifying your activities to include exercise that does not stress the Achilles tendon
  • Wearing a bandage designed to restrict the motion of the tendon
  • Orthotics (shoe inserts) may be prescribed to relieve stress on the tendon and help support the muscle
  • Stretching exercises to strengthen the muscle group in front of the leg, the calf, and upward foot flexors

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your calf and Achilles tendon area, call our Washington, PA office at (724) 225-7410 or request an appointment online and find out how you can be fit without pain.

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