Are you experiencing significant pain in your heel and are wondering what might be causing it? What can you do to alleviate the problem? Some people have no idea where the Achilles tendon is located in the foot, yet no other part of our body withstands as much strain as we go about our daily activities.
Why is this so?
We use the Achilles tendon to jump, walk, jog, and stand on the balls of our feet. Continuous, intense physical activity, such as jumping and running can lead to painful inflammation known as Achilles tendinosis (or tendinitis).
Extreme exercise, running or walking is a common cause of Achilles tendonitis, especially for athletes. However, factors unrelated to exercise may also add to the problem. Rheumatoid arthritis and infection are both connected to tendonitis. Any repeated activity that strains your Achilles tendon can potentially bring about tendonitis.
Such prolonged and strenuous activities include:
- Intense exercise without a proper warm up
- Spraining the calf muscles during repeated exercise or physical activity
- Playing sports, such as basketball that requires instantaneous stops and adjustments in direction
- Abrupt increase in physical activity without allowing your body to adjust
- Wearing old or ill-fitting footwear
- Wearing high heels everyday or for prolonged durations
Why is my Achilles tendon popping?
The popping of a tendon is usually a sign the tendon is inflammed grazing on nearby tissues. Since the Achilles tendon cannot disjoint; it is likely brushing over a small, fluid-filled sac beneath the ligament known as the retrocalcaneal bursa. The latter is a common symptom of Achilles tendon pain especially when there swelling, tenderness and inability to flex the toes which suggest a partial or complete tearing of the muscle.
If it is painful, avoiding putting pressure and irritating the tendon. If things do resolve after a week or if the pain worsens, see a podiatrist. You may require a steroid injection or surgery.
What do you do for a sore Achilles tendon?
Many treatments are available for Achilles tendonitis ranging from home remedies like rest, footwear change, physio, orthotics and anti-inflammatory medication to more invasive treatments such as steroid injections and surgery. Your doctor might suggest reducing your physical activity as well as very gentle stretching and strengthening your calf muscles in a series of Achilles tendon pain exercises. You might also want to consider switching to a less strenuous sport to prevent a similar injury in the future.
Would you like to learn more? Why not arrange a consultation with a podiatry expert? Call “Modpod Podiatry” today on 1300 809 874.