Achilles Tendonitis Causes & Treatment Options in West Bloomfield, MI

Achilles Tendonitis Causes & Treatment Options

Achilles Tendonitis occurs when there is overuse or injury to the Achilles tendon. This tendon is comprised of tissue that connects the heel bone to the back of the lower leg muscles.

There are many causes and risk factors for Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is the most common among athletes, such as runners, who increase the intensity or duration of their workouts. The structure of the Achilles tendon weakens with age, which can make it more susceptible to injury — particularly in people who may participate in sports only on the weekends or who have suddenly increased the intensity of their running programs.

Risk factors for developing Achilles tendonitis include: your gender, age, medical conditions, physical condition, medications, or training conditions. Men are more likely to experience Achilles tendonitis, and it is more likely to occur as we age. Those who have flat-foot conditions, psoriasis, or high blood pressure are more likely to experience injury to the Achilles tendon. Last but not least, certain antibiotics are associated with higher rates of Achilles tendonitis.

Treatment options

Most cases of Achilles tendonitis can be treated with relatively simple, at-home care under your doctor’s supervision. Self-care strategies are usually necessary to prevent recurring episodes. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen (Aleve) may assist with relieving pain or swelling.

Physical therapy is another treatment method for Achilles tendonitis. Physical therapy includes exercising or orthotic devices to assist with healing. “Eccentric exercising” a slow let down of a weight after raising it, has been found to be especially helpful for persistent Achilles problems. Devices such as shoe inserts to elevate the heel have also been shown to be particularly effective.

However, sometimes conventional methods are ineffective for severe cases of Achilles tendonitis. More-serious cases of Achilles tendinitis can lead to tendon tears (ruptures) that may require surgical repair.

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