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The Achilles tendon is not only the largest tendon in our body, it is also the strongest, having the ability to withstand up to 1,000 lbs of force! With every step, the Achilles acts to propel our body forward over our feet. Life in an active city such as New York inevitably results in an incredible amount of stress to this tendon even on a typical day. Achilles tendon pain, tendinitis, tears, or other injuries can significantly affect quality of life, ability to achieve health and fitness goals, and ability to work. Your Achilles tendons are always in motion when you walk, run and stand — anytime you use your legs.
Despite its power, the Achilles tendon is also prone to injury. Areas of this important tendon lack a direct blood supply causing weakness and delayed healing in those regions. Achilles tendon injuries are particularly common in tennis, basketball and soccer and should be seen by a foot and ankle specialist immediately. NYC podiatrist, Dr. Sophia Solomon, is a specialist in Achilles injuries and treatment as well as surgical method.
All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your Manhattan based foot doctor or podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
Foot Pain and Strain
When you start feeling foot pain from an overused or damaged Achilles tendon the pain may be excruciating. That may be the point when you visit the best New York podiatrist for evaluation and treatment. Your Achilles tendons play an integral role in everyday movement and early management is highly recommended.
Degeneration and overuse of the Achilles tendons is one of the main issues that your podiatrist in New York sees on a regular basis. The stresses of running, jumping and extensive overuse lead to the common injury called Achilles tendinitis. Our Manhattan based foot doctor describes tendinitis as an inflammation of tissue which is often the first stage of the Achilles tendon deteriorating, emphasizing the importance of a prompt visit to a foot and ankle doctor.
The Body’s Responses
- When damaged, the body responds by triggering the body’s cellular stress response system which sends inflammatory modulators to the area of injury. When your Achilles is damaged or begins to degenerate, your body responds with:
You can suffer from two basic types of Achilles tendinitis. Your foot doctor can tell the difference between the two with an examination and testing. The two types are:
Insertional Achilles Tendinitis– occurs near the back of your heel where the tendon attaches. It may be accompanied by additional bone growth referred to as either a bone spur or heel pain. Frequently this damage at the tendon attachment occurs in people who aren’t active.
- Noninsertional Achilles Tendinitis– Occurs just above one’s heel along the length of the Achilles tendon. This is the most common form and is primarily seen in athletes and active adults. Your New York City podiatry doctor can evaluate and diagnose the cause of this pain and treat it from its root. With this type of tendinitis, swelling and inflammation will often be observed by your podiatric doctor during the early stages of this condition. Your podiatric doctor will spend time to create a patient specific treatment plan for your tendinitis.
Causes for Podiatrists to Consider
Rarely is tendinitis the result of a single accident. It’s considered by your foot specialist to be more of a repetitive stress injury. You can develop this condition when you push yourself with excessive running or exercise or bend and twist your ankles for years on a physically demanding job.
Most common causes of Achilles tendinitis seen by your NYC podiatrist include:
- Small pieces of bone growing on your heel, which lead to bone spurs that can tear and aggravate the tender tissues of your tendon
- Increased demand on your tendons — such as when you go from running three miles a day to 10 miles without a gradual build-up
- Not allowing your body to warm up to an increase in activity
- Beginning to walk or run long distances without stretching
- Tight calf muscles causing increased tension
Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis
Your body will know something is wrong when you when you begin to develop an achilles tendinitis Visit your foot doctor as soon as you experience any discomfort to prevent further damage. Tell your podiatric doctor in NYC when you begin to feel:
- Your tendons grow thicker
- The tendons just behind your heel become extremely sensitive to the touch
- A small hard lump (or bone spur) on the back of your heel
- Stiffness and discomfort when rising in the morning
- More severe pain after you exercise
- Pain that gets worse as you move around
- Inflammation that stays all through the day
Call 911 and then your podiatric doctor if you feel a sudden “popping” in the back of your heel. You may have a torn or ruptured tendon — and that requires immediate attention. The pain from Achilles tendinitis or rupture can be debilitating and walking may be difficult.
All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
Foot Doctor Tests
Explain your symptoms to your podiatry doctor, including:
- When your discomfort began
- When it is most painful
- How long pain lasts
- How you feel after resting
- What kinds of warm-ups you do before exercising
- What kinds of exercise you do
- How much do you walk for work
Your foot doctor likely can tell just by touching your Achilles tendons if you are having problems there. To confirm a diagnosis of Achilles tendinitis, however, you may need to undergo imaging tests. X-rays show any calcification or hardening of your tendons around your heel. X-rays also help to pinpoint the origin of the hardening to determine whether you have insertional or noninsertional tendinitis.
Your New York City podiatrist may also order a magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, test to determine the extent of the damage. Your foot doctor doesn’t need an MRI to diagnose your pain; he needs it if he deems you a candidate for Achilles tendon surgery.
Which treatment your podiatric doctor pursues depends on how much damage you have. Your podiatrist in New York City typically begins with non-invasive treatments such as:
- I.C.E., or rest, ice, compression and elevation
- Various stretching exercises as determined by a podiatric or sports specialist or physical therapist
- Strengthening exercises
- Physical therapy, which is best suited for insertional Achilles tendinitis
- Steroid injections
- Special shoe inserts or orthotic footwear
- Noninvasive shockwave therapy
- Laser targeted therapy
- Surgery, which is the last resort for your podiatrist
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Achilles Tendon? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Sophia Solomon of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.
Dr. Sophia Solomon, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 389-9918