Achilles tendinitis (also known as Tendinitis of the heel) takes place when the tendon that links the back of your leg to your heel ends up being swollen and painful near the bottom of the foot. This tendon is called the Achilles tendon. It enables you to press your foot down. You use your Achilles tendon when walking, running, and jumping.
Causes of Pain in Back of Heel
There are two big muscles in the calf. These produce the power needed to push off with the foot or go up on the toes. The large Achilles tendon connects these muscles to the heel.
Heel pain is most often due to overuse of the foot. Seldom, it is caused by an injury.
Tendinitis due to overuse is most common in younger people. It can take place in walkers, runners, or other professional athletes.
Achilles tendinitis may be more likely to occur if:
- There is a sudden boost in the amount or strength of an activity.
- Your calf muscles are really tight (not stretched out).
- You work on tough surface areas, such as concrete.
- You run frequently.
- You jump a lot (such as when playing basketball).
- You DO NOT wear shoes that provide your feet correct assistance.
- Your foot unexpectedly turns in or out.
Tendinitis from arthritis is more common in middle-aged and older adults. A bone spur or growth might form in the back of the heel bone. This might irritate the Achilles tendon and cause pain and swelling. Flat feet will put more stress on the tendon.
Symptoms of Pain in Back of Heel
Symptoms consist of pain in the heel and along the length of the tendon when walking or running. The area may feel painful and stiff in the morning in back of the heel.
The tendon may be painful to touch or move. The area might be swollen and warm. You might have problem standing on one toe.
The healthcare provider will carry out a physical exam. They will look for inflammation along the tendon and pain in the area of the tendon when you stand on your toes. X-rays can help identify bone issues. An MRI of the foot scan might be done if you are considering surgery or there is a chance that you have a tear in the Achilles tendon.
How to Treat Pain in Back of Heel
The primary treatments for Achilles tendinitis DO NOT involve surgery. It is very important to bear in mind that it may take at least 2 to 3 months for the pain to go away.
Attempt putting ice on the Achilles tendon area for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Remove the ice if the area gets numb.
Modifications in activity might help handle the symptoms:
- Decline or stop any activity that causes pain.
- Run or walk on smoother and softer surface areas.
- Change to cycling, swimming, or other activities that put less stress on the Achilles tendon.
Your company or physical therapist can reveal you stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon.
You might likewise have to make modifications in your footwear, such as:
- Using a brace, boot or cast to keep the heel and tendon still and allow the swelling to go down
- Positioning heel lifts in the shoe under the heel
- Wearing shoes that are softer in the areas over and under the heel cushion
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can assist relieve pain or swelling.
If these treatments DO NOT enhance symptoms, you may need surgery to remove swollen tissue and abnormal areas of the tendon. If there is a bone spur irritating the tendon, surgery can be used to remove the spur.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) might be an alternative to surgery for people who have actually not reacted to other treatments. This treatment uses low-dose acoustic wave.
For the most parts, lifestyle changes help improve symptoms. Remember that symptoms might return if you DO NOT limit activities that cause pain, or if you DO NOT preserve the strength and flexibility of the tendon.
Achilles tendinitis might make you more likely to have an Achilles rupture. This condition frequently causes a sharp pain that feels as if you have actually been struck in the back of the heel with a stick. Surgical repair work is necessary. However, the surgery may not be as effective as normal because there is currently damage to the tendon.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your supplier if:
You have pain in the heel around the Achilles tendon that is worse with activity.
You have sharp pain and are unable to walk without extreme pain or weak point.
How to Prevent Pain in Back of Heel
Exercises to keep your calf muscles strong and versatile will help reduce the risk of tendinitis. Overusing a weak or tight Achilles tendon makes you more likely to establish tendinitis.