Achilles tendonitis treatment in the Harris County, TX: Willowbrook, Lakewood Forest, Jersey Village, Louetta, Klein, Hedwig Village, Cypress (Bridgeland), Memorial, Copperfield Place (Park Row), and Northwest Houston areas

Achilles Tendonitis Treatment in Houston (Cypress) and Houston (Memorial), TX

The Achilles tendon is a tough band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It helps you walk by elevating your heel off of the ground. Although the Achilles tendon is very strong, it can also be a common site for injuries in the lower limbs. 

Achilles tendon injuries are typically the result of overuse — a sudden increase of a repetitive activity that puts excess stress on the tendon. Activities that can lead to overuse injuries include running, jumping, playing certain sports, and working in a standing position for prolonged periods of time. People who have flat feet or an abnormal gait may also be more likely to develop Achilles tendon issues as their foot structure and walking pattern can put greater stress on the tendon.

There are several types of Achilles tendon injuries. Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon and is usually an acute condition that comes on suddenly and then resolves. However, when Achilles tendonitis does not heal fully, Achilles tendinosis may develop. This type of injury is characterized by microtears appearing in the tendon, leading to a breakdown in its structure. In some cases, the Achilles tendon may even fully tear or rupture.

The symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury may include pain, aching, stiffness, soreness, and tenderness directly above the heel and below the calf muscle. The pain is often at its worst upon first arising in the morning or after taking your first few steps after a long period of rest. The pain may dissipate somewhat with activity but then worsen again if your activity level increases.

Treatment for an Achilles tendon injury depends on the type of injury, how long the injury has been present, and the degree of damage to the tendon. Less severe injuries may respond well to conservative measures such as resting and icing the affected foot, taking oral medications to reduce pain, wearing orthotics or immobilizing the foot, and doing strengthening exercises. Severe injuries that do not respond well to conservative treatments may require surgical intervention.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury or would like to learn about how to prevent one, please consult with a podiatrist.

Achilles Tendon (FAQs)

What is the Achilles tendon?
The Achilles tendon is the thick band of fibrous tissue located at the back of the lower leg. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, allowing us to push off the foot while walking, running, or jumping. Although the Achilles tendon is the largest, strongest tendon in the body, it can be prone to injury due to the stress placed on it.
What are the different kinds of Achilles tendon injuries? 
There are many different types of Achilles tendon injuries. Achilles tendonitis, one of the most common Achilles tendon injuries, is an inflammation of the tendon due to repetitive strain and overuse. Tendonitis causes pain and stiffness at the back of the heel. Achilles tendonosis refers to a gradual thickening and weakening of the Achilles tendon due to overuse or aging. More serious injuries to the Achilles tendon are tears or full ruptures. An Achilles tendon tear can be small or large, and may cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected leg. A rupture occurs when the tendon tears completely, and is accompanied by intense pain and swelling. 
How long does it take for an Achilles tendon injury to heal? 
How long it takes to recover from an Achilles tendon injury depends on the type and severity of the injury, as well as the treatments that are used, the patient’s lifestyle factors and compliance with the doctor's orders. Less severe injuries may take several weeks to heal. More severe injuries, like a full rupture, may require surgery and can take several months to heal completely. 
Can I still walk with an Achilles tendon injury? 
You may still be able to walk with an Achilles tendon injury, though it is likely you will experience at least some degree of pain or discomfort, and you may have trouble pushing off of the injured foot. However, while you may be able to walk, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Achilles tendon ruptures are often treated with surgery, and full recovery can require wearing a cast and refraining from putting weight on the affected leg. Resting the affected leg is recommended regardless of the severity of the injury, and you should not fully resume your usual activities without the okay of your doctor. Putting too much strain on the Achilles tendon before it heals fully may result in chronic pain and an increased likelihood of further injury. 

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