The Achilles tendon is a piece of connective tissue that helps you move your feet by connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. This tendon is a common site for incredibly painful sports injuries. Typically, injuries to this area can be avoided by taking proper measures prior to physical activity, but if Achilles tendonitis or a complete rupture of the tendon occurs, there are many non-surgical treatment options available.
Preventing Achilles injury
A leading cause for trauma to the Achilles tendon is tight calf muscles. Make a habit of including calf and leg stretches in your warm-up routine so that the muscles are limber and ready to move. You can avoid training injuries by varying your workout from day to day and putting an emphasis on low-impact activities such as swimming, biking and aerobics. Every time you are participating in any activity, wear proper clothing and supportive footwear, as this will help you maintain good posture and protect soft tissues from injury. If an injury is sustained, you should seek medical attention immediately and review your options, which may include:
Physical therapy: Stress on the tendon can be relieved with specific exercises to strengthen surrounding muscles. Working regularly with a physical therapist will allow you the one-on-one training needed to address your specific concerns.
Surgery: If the tendon has ruptured or a bone spur is the cause of the injury, surgery may be recommended. However, other options may be exhausted before a physician will resort to surgical repair.
- Corticosteroid injections: Pain caused by tendonitis may be significantly relieved with the use of steroid injections, but this type of medication should always be closely monitored by an orthopedic physician.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of your Achilles tendon injury, visit the office of Dr. Drew Stein, M.D. We specialize in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine in the NYC area. Contact us online or call (212) 398-2300.