Achilles tendonitis is not just a concern for athletes but can have significant negative impact on anyone’s mobility and quality of life. The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, plays a pivotal role in walking, running, and jumping. Its resilience and flexibility allow for a wide range of activities but also make it vulnerable to overuse and injury. At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our physiatrists’ expertise in sports medicine and holistic nonsurgical treatments uniquely positions us to address this condition effectively.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Achilles tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, affects about 24 percent of athletes at some point, highlighting its prevalence in the active population. Because the doctors at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine are specialists in pain relief and restoration of function, we use a broader spectrum of traditional and complementary therapies than many medical offices, enabling us to provide optimal relief and accelerate healing. Contact us for prompt relief and an individualized treatment program tailored to meet your specific needs.

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis results from undue stress on the robust band of tissue linking the calf muscles to the heel bone. Specific activities and actions heighten the risk, including:

  • Intense or repetitive exercise, especially a sudden increase in activities that stress this particular tendon 
  • Sport-specific actions, e.g. quick starts, stops, or pivots common in basketball and tennis, sudden increases in mileage covered by long-distance runners, or frequent jumps and significant ankle flexion in dancing
  • Inadequate training or practice or insufficiently supportive footwear

Risk Factors for Achilles Tendonitis

In order to prevent Achilles tendonitis, it is helpful to know who may be at high risk for the injury. Risk factors for the condition include:

  • Aging during which tendons lose elasticity
  • Gender since males are more often likely to develop this condition 
  • Engaging in particular sports and activities, e.g. basketball, volleyball, running, dancing, tennis, and other racket sports
  • Being overweight or obese, which puts additional strain on the Achilles tendon
  • Structural anomalies, such as overpronation or flat arches
  • Autoimmune disorders, like diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Some medications, e.g. certain antibiotics, corticosteroids, and aromatase inhibitors (used to lower breast cancer risk)
  • Cold weather which makes the tendons more rigid and prone to injury
  • Vigorous activity on hilly, hard, or uneven surfaces

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis presents with many intrusive symptoms that are hard to miss, such as:

  • Snapping or popping noise at the time of injury, indicating a severe strain or rupture
  • Localized pain that escalates with movement, becoming more severe and persistent
  • Stiffness and tenderness, especially upon waking, either directly above the heel or at the tendon’s insertion point.
  • Swelling and thickening of the region, evidence of inflammation
  • Reduced range of motion when flexing the foot 

Although for some patients, the pain is severe immediately after the injury, in others it may at first only occur during or after strenuous activity but can become constant, interfering with the patient’s normal routine and disrupting sleep.

Complications: Understanding the Risk of Rupture

It is never wise to leave Achilles tendonitis untreated since there is the risk of tendon rupture which will require surgical intervention. That’s why it is critical to get in touch with us immediately. 

Diagnosis of Achilles Tendonitis

At LISRM, we pride ourselves on being accurate diagnosticians. Once you consult with us, we will take your injury seriously and listen carefully to all you say since we firmly believe that healing is a collaborative process between doctor and patient. 

We will take a complete medical history and perform a thorough physical exam, including a gait analysis and an evaluation of your range of motion. Then, we will administer imaging tests, like an ultrasound or MRI scan, to provide us with detailed views of your Achilles tendon. Such tests will also rule out other problems, such as bursitis or a tendon rupture.

We Offer a Broad Range of Holistic Treatment Options

As previously noted, our treatment regimen will not be generic. We will create a therapeutic plan that is designed to address your particular needs and is guided by your own personal preferences. It will include some combination of the following:

Customized Physical Therapy consisting of exercises tailored to strengthen your calf muscles, enhance your tendon flexibility, and improve your overall leg function. Your plan will be personalized to take into account any pre-existing conditions and prior injuries.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy in which a platelet-enriched portion of your own blood is injected to promote healing and expand range of motion.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy, a noninvasive treatment that stimulates cellular repair and reduces inflammation.

Acupuncture, a type of Chinese medicine that uses hairline needles placed at charted spots on the body. Successfully used for thousands of years, acupuncture offers pain relief, reduced inflammation, increased blood flow, released endorphins, and a sense of general well-being. 

Contact Our Experienced Achilles Tendonitis Specialists Now

If you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis or think you might be, now is the time to contact Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. Our physiatrists have an impressive track record of successfully treating this injury with an impressive array of holistic, nonsurgical treatments. By blending traditional and cutting-edge therapies, we will provide you with the best chance of rapid and complete recovery from your injury so you can return to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible. Contact us today!