If you’re suffering from pain in your Achilles tendon, the issue could be Achilles tendinitis. That is an inflammation of the tendon which is usually related to overuse and degeneration. Luckily, there are solutions and an MRI from AHI can help diagnose the issue.
What Is Achilles Tendinitis?
There are two main types of Achilles tendinitis, and both of them deal with inflammation to the tendon. The noninsertional variety typically happens to relatively young active people, and it’s often related to overuse while playing sports or exercising. Basically, the middle of the tendon has suffered a lot of little tears, and as a result, it’s started to swell and thicken.
The insertional variety of the issue tends to be located in the lower part of the tendon near the heel, and as the damaged tendon hardens, bone spurs may form in the area. This issue tends to affect older patients but can pop up in patients of all ages regardless of activity levels.
How Do You Diagnose Achilles Tendinitis?
The first step in diagnosing Achilles tendinitis involves looking at the symptoms. If you think you might have this issue, look for the following symptoms:
- Pain in your Achilles tendon (particularly in the morning or after periods of inactivity)
- Pain that gets worse as you workout or that feels stronger the day after a workout
- Swelling around your tendon
- Your Tendon feels thicker than normal
If you have those symptoms, you may want to you need to schedule an exam. At AHI, we can diagnose the issue with a physical exam, but we can also give you an x-ray or an MRI. That is especially useful for diagnosing rips in the tendon.
What Is the Treatment for Achilles Tendinitis?
If the MIR shows that you have tendinitis in this part of your body, there are several noninvasive treatments that you may want to explore first. In many cases, tendinitis is a response to overuse, and rest can help a lot. Ice can also help to alleviate pain and swelling, and exercises such as calf stretches can loosen the surrounding muscles that may be putting a strain on your Achilles tendon. Your physician can give you exercises, or you can opt to work with a physical therapist.
Over the counter anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can help with swelling and pain, but they don’t offer a long term solution. Orthotics (shoe inserts) can help in some cases. The orthotics may include heel lifts or supports that take the pressure off your heel and in turn off that tendon.
The Achilles tendon is named after a hero in Greek mythology. According to legend, when Achilles was a baby, his mother dipped him in the River Styx so he could be impervious to all injuries. However, she held him by the heel, and that was the only part of his body not to be covered with the magical water. That became his weak spot and ultimately an arrow through the tendon ended his life.
Now, the Achilles tendon still bears his name, but you don’t have to worry about it being your weak spot. If you are suffering from the symptoms of tendinitis, we can help. Contact us at AHI today. We can set up an appointment in one of our many offices and get you the expert care you need.