Achilles Tendon Pain

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, but that doesn’t mean it’s resistant to injury. In fact, Achilles tendon pain is quite common. Let’s take a look at what factors play a role in Achilles tendon issues and how they are treated.

What causes Achilles tendon pain?

Tendons are durable cords of fibrous tissue that are tough, but not very flexible. Too much strain on the Achilles tendon – which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone – can lead to problems like:

  • Achilles tendinitis – The most common source of Achilles tendon pain, this overuse injury causes inflammation and can result from frequent running, dancing, or participation in any activity that places undue strain on the feet.
  • Achilles tendinosis – While tendinitis describes an acute injury, tendinosis is the chronic degeneration of the Achilles tendon as a result of untreated tendinitis.
  • Achilles tendon rupture – This injury occurs when the Achilles tendon tears as a result of sudden strain, such as that experienced during playing high-impact sports or running uphill.

It’s not unusual to experience aches and pains after physical activity, but you should promptly consult with a physician if you are experiencing swelling, stiffness, redness, or warmth around the back of the ankle, or if you have trouble standing on your tiptoes.

How is Achilles tendon pain treated?

Each patient’s ideal course of Achilles tendon pain will vary according to their condition, age, and activity levels. Some patients with tendinitis can reduce painful symptoms through self-care measures like stretching, rest, and ice therapy. In other cases, medication and physical therapy may be necessary. For patients with Achilles tendon ruptures, surgery to repair the tendon is typically the most viable treatment option.

Orthopaedic Specialists is a premier orthopedic care provider in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. With board-certified specialists at our locations east, west, north, and south of town, we make it simple to find expert Achilles tendon pain treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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