My Blog

Posts for tag: Achilles Tendonitis

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
February 05, 2019
Category: Foot Care

Heel pain is one of the most common complaints a podiatrist hears about from patients. If you are dealing with heel pain above the heel bone then you could be dealing with Achilles Tendonitis, a result of overuse. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and it serves to connect the muscles of the calf with the lower leg and heel bone.

While Achilles Tendonitis tends to occur most often in runners, this condition can still occur in athletes that play certain sports such as soccer or tennis. Unfortunately, this tendon does weaken as we get older, which makes at an increased risk for developing this overuse injury as we age.

 

What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

The most obvious symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain above the heel bone. When the pain first appears it’s usually pretty mild and you may only notice it after running; however, over time you may notice that the pain gets worse after certain exercises. Along with pain you may also experience stiffness or tenderness in the heel, especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting.

 

When should I see a podiatrist?

If this is the first time that you’ve ever experienced heel pain then it’s a good idea to turn to a foot doctor who can determine whether Achilles Tendonitis is causing your symptoms or whether it’s something else. If you’re experiencing chronic heel pain around the Achilles tendon it’s also a good time to see a doctor. If the pain is severe or you are unable to put weight on your foot it’s possible that you might be dealing with a ruptured tendon, which requires immediate attention.

 

How do you treat Achilles Tendonitis?

In most cases, Achilles Tendonitis can be treated with simple self-care options. Unless symptoms are severe you may be able to treat your heel pain by:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications
  • Avoiding high-impact activities or activities that exacerbate symptoms
  • Elevating the foot to reduce swelling
  • Performing stretching exercises or undergoing physical therapy
  • Icing the heel
  • Wearing custom orthotics
  • Replacing worn-out shoes, especially running shoes

Surgery is only necessary if your symptoms aren’t responding to any other nonsurgical treatment options after several months or if the tendon is torn.

 

If you think your heel pain could be the result of Achilles Tendonitis then it’s time to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can provide you with a variety of treatment options, from simple lifestyle modifications to custom orthotics.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
January 16, 2012
Category: Footwear

Athletic ShoesNo matter what sport you play, the type of shoe you wear while playing your favorite game is one of your most important pieces of equipment.  Choosing the most appropriate, supportive athletic shoes for your specific sport and foot structure can make a huge difference in keeping your feet healthy and comfortable while improving your performance.  Serious back, knee, hip and heel pain; Achilles tendonitis; fractures; and painful blisters are some of the common conditions faced by athletes wearing the wrong footwear.  

From soccer and tennis to golf and basketball, the structure of your foot and any abnormalities should be considered when selecting a proper shoe for your activity.  Look for a shoe that combines flexibility, support and cushioning to absorb impact and lessen shock on the feet.   Before selecting an athletic shoe, it is always recommended to consult Howard Schaengold, DPM for a professional evaluation of your foot type, any underlying deformities and helpful shoe buying tips.

Types of Shoes

There are unique variations in the way different athletic shoes support your feet.  This means that it’s not good to play football in the same shoes you use for jogging. Your feet require different support for different activities and movement.

A good sports shoe should be fitted to support the foot in position that is most natural to the movement required.  For instance, a running shoe is designed to accommodate high impact while a shoe built for tennis or basketball provides a combination of flexibility and sideways support.

Out with the Old

Like most things, your athletic shoes will wear out after a period of time. An old, worn out shoe is a common cause of sport-related injuries.  If you run, track your mileage to determine when your shoes have endured too much activity, and when you notice obvious wearing of the soles or you sense a lack of cushioning from the shoes, it may be time to buy a new pair.

Remember, the best pair of athletic footwear doesn’t have to be expensive to support the needs of your feet and body during a workout.  There are numerous shoes available that will fit both your needs and your budget. When you’re feet are protected by the right footwear, you can reduce the likelihood of injury.  Visit our Sammamish office for an evaluation and shoe recommendations.

 

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
August 01, 2011
Category: Foot Care

Achilles TendonThe Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, located in the back of the lower leg and connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle. This tendon is crucial as it facilitates walking and running by helping to raise the heel off of the ground.  While the tendon can withstand immense force, it’s also surprisingly vulnerable. Injuries to the Achilles tendon require prompt treatment.  

When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed from excessive use, tendonitis can weaken it over time and cause small tears. Athletes are at a high risk for Achilles tendon injuries, which often occurs at the start of a new exercise or training program, or due to not having enough rest or recovery time.

You don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to suffer an Achilles tendon injury. People with flat feet, arthritis and other foot problems are also more susceptible to develop Achilles tendonitis due to increased demands placed on the tendon when walking.

Common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include:

  • Mild pain after running or exercising that intensifies gradually
  • Localized pain along the tendon, especially after running
  • Tenderness near the heel bone, with pain being worse first thing in the morning
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower leg and ankle
  • Swelling around the tendon
  • When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged

To prevent injuries to the Achilles tendon, strengthening and stretching the calf muscles through daily exercise is recommended.  Alternating intense exercise with low-impact workouts and wearing proper shoes for your foot type and activity can also help reduce your risk for injury.

Any time you experience pain, tenderness or swelling along the Achilles tendon, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for professional diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for an injured Achilles tendon should begin right away with rest, ice, compression and elevation.   Without prompt care, Achilles tendonitis will get progressively worse, thus increasing the risk for further deterioration and rupture.   As a last resort and when other treatments fail, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon.  

The professional podiatrists at our Sammamish office can provide the best diagnosis and treatment for optimal recovery.