Tendons are the tough, narrow bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. The Achilles tendon is the tendon in the body and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon gives you the ability to stand on your toes and walk or run with a springy step. The inflammation of the achilles tendon is generally called achilles tendinitis.
Achilles tendonitis is a common injury in athletes who run or do other activities that require quick starts and stops.
What is achilles tendonitis?
The Achilles tendon is located on the back of your lower leg, connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone. The Achilles tendon is one of the strongest and thickest in your body and can withstand a lot of stress. It allows you to run, jump, and stand on your toes without pain.
However, this tendon is also susceptible to overuse injury because it is used with virtually every step you take. Because of its importance to your walking and running activities, any injury to this tendon can result in painful inflammation and swelling. This condition is called Achilles tendonitis or tendinitis.
Causes of achilles tendonitis
Tendinitis usually develops slowly over time as a result of repeated strain on this tendon. Your risk for developing Achilles tendinitis increases as you age because tendons become weaker with age and also due to injury or overuse. You may be more likely to develop Achilles tendinitis if you play sports such as tennis, soccer, or basketball that require quick stops and changes in direction.
Achilles tendinitis can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to those associated with other conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Your orthopedic or ligament specialist doctor in Kolkata will review your medical history, look at your symptoms and order imaging studies to determine if you have achilles tendinitis. You may need to discontinue activities that cause pain before receiving a diagnosis of achilles tendinitis.
Diagnosis of achilles tendinitis
The orthopedic or fracture treatment doctor in Kolkata will do a physical examination and assess your symptoms. They will ask you questions about your medical history, especially in terms of orthopedic health. In addition, they will also order imaging tests like X-rays, ultrasound, and MRI to make a conclusive diagnosis.
Achilles tendinitis treatment
Achilles tendinitis usually gets better with time and simple treatments. However, in case the pain doesn’t go away, there are several options available. The doctor may recommend taking anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
In general, the doctor will probably suggest a combination of strategies. Ice packs can be used to relieve pain and swelling. A doctor may also recommend keeping weight off the affected ankle by resting it on an elevated pillow while lying down. This can help reduce pain and swelling as well as helping to prevent further injury to the tendon.
Taping or strapping the achilles may provide some relief for people who have mild tendinitis. Those with more severe cases may need to use crutches. Your doctor may even instruct you not to participate in strenuous activities while you are recovering from an injury.
In some cases when other treatment options have failed to bring the necessary relief, your doctor will recommend surgical intervention. Surgery can help repair the achilles tendon.
If you don’t seek the timely intervention of a ligament specialist doctor in Kolkata, your achilles tendon may get worse, including complete tear or rupture of the tendons. So, when you start noticing the symptoms, visit your orthopedic doctor immediately and get diagnosed.