Foot & Ankle Pain

Dear Doctors,

I just finished track in high school and was not able to compete at the end of the season. I strained my Achilles tendon and it has been hard to walk up stairs. When the trainer tapes it, it is actually worse. I want to train over the summer, but right now I am having difficulty walking. Can you explain to me a little more about the Achilles tendon, and is this something you can help with?

The Achilles tendon injury is one of the more serious sports injuries, for professional and amateur athletes alike. Individuals who have an Achilles tendonitis should be evaluated by a professional who has experience in rehabilitation. The Achilles tendon is one of the longer tendons in the body, stretching from the heel bones to the calf muscles. It is the springy band of tissue at the back of the ankle and above the heel. It allows us to extend our foot and point our toes to the floor. It is the most commonly injured tendon. Many Achilles tendon injuries are cases of tendonitis, in
which the tendon is swollen and painful. In a severe Achilles tendon injury, too much force on the tendon causes it to tear partially or rupture completely. An Achilles tendon injury might be caused by overuse, such as running longer than what your conditioning permits, stepping up your level of physical activity too quickly, not stretching enough before exercise, and wearing high heels. An Achilles tendon injury can result from flat feet, also known as fallen arches or overpronation. In this condition, the impact of a step causes the arch of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.
A person is more likely to tear an Achilles tendon when starting to move suddenly. For instance, a sprinter might get one at the start of a race. The abrupt tensing of the muscle can be too much for the tendon to handle. Men over 30 are particularly prone to Achilles tendon injuries. This certainly sounds like a condition we could help you with. We have successively treated Achilles tendonitis in our office for years in athletes and non-athletic individuals. Some treatment protocols may include Ultrasound, Guasha, stretching and strengthening (at the right time), rest, ice, using a compression wrap, elevation, anti-inflammatory medication, a heel lift, and orthotics. We suggest that you get this examined expediently. If left unattended and or if a person has a severe case, from our Non-surgical Orthopedic discipline, it may be necessary to cast a person for 6-10 weeks,