Of the 4,000 or so tendons in the human body, the two Achilles tendons that connect the powerful calf muscles to the feet—also known as the “heel cords”—are the thickest and strongest. These tendons are designed to withstand the incredible forces acting upon them every time you walk, run, or jump.
Unfortunately, they are not indestructible. If the tendon endures greater forces than it is conditioned to handle, the fibers may become overstretched, inflamed, weakened, or even torn.
Fortunately, Achilles tendinitis is usually treatable with non-surgical means. However, continuing to aggravate the tendon without allowing it to heal will result in persistent chronic pain, a degenerative thickening of the tendon, formation of bone spurs and calcification, and in some cases a complete tendon rupture.
If pain in the back of your heel is keeping you from participating in or enjoying your activities, call us to schedule an evaluation.
Preventing Future Tendon Problems
Achilles tendinitis is an injury that can return again and again, even after successful treatment, if you do not take the appropriate steps to prevent it. To reduce your risk for recurrence you should:
- Always wear appropriate footwear for your activities
- Always wear any prescribed arch supports or orthotics as directed
- Stretch your feet and calves daily
- If starting a new exercise routine or sport, begin at a slow pace and increase the intensity of your activity gradually over several weeks
- Try to stay active throughout the week, instead of only on weekends
- Cross-train in multiple exercises, including low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling
Do not give your Achilles tendinitis a chance to become worse or allow it to dictate the terms of your daily life. For effective treatment options, please call the team at InStride Crystal Coast Podiatry in New Bern today at (252) 638-4700.