If you’ve recently increased your running distance or are a weekend warrior athlete, you may be at risk for an Achilles tendon injury. At Premier Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Thomas Baylis and his team of sports medicine specialists can prevent and treat Achilles tendonitis and other injuries to the tendon. If you live in or near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, call the office today to schedule your appointment or book it online now.
The largest tendon in the body, your Achilles tendon reaches from your heel bone to your calf muscle. The Achilles allows you to both point your toes and stand on your tiptoes, and it is prone to injury.
Achilles tendon injuries are common among athletes and most often occur when you speed up, slow down, or pivot. They’re likely to happen when you take off too hard, putting more pressure on the tendon than it can handle.
Common injuries include Achilles tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendon. You can also injure the tendon by tearing it, or in severe cases, rupturing it.
When you injure your Achilles tendon, you may hear or feel a pop in the back of your ankle. These injuries cause pain above your heel, which gets worse when you stand on your toes or stretch your ankle. Your ankle may swell, stiffen, or feel tender.
If your Achilles tendon ruptures, it hurts immediately. It may bruise and swell, causing difficulty with movements.
Some people are more likely to injure their Achilles tendon than others. Risk factors include:
The type of injury your Achilles tendon has and its severity determines the treatment Dr. Baylis recommends. If you have a minor injury, treat it at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Take over-the-counter pain relievers to help with any pain and reduce swelling.
Dr. Baylis may suggest wearing a heel lift in your shoe. This protects your Achilles tendon while it heals. He also gives your exercises you can do to stretch and strengthen your Achilles tendon and its supports.
In severe cases, including rupture of your Achilles tendon, Dr. Baylis may recommend surgery to repair the damage.
If you have pain above your heel, especially after running or playing sports, you may have Achilles tendonitis. Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Baylis online or call the office to book your appointment now.