Tendon inflammation is known as tendonitis, which can be an acute or chronic source of pain and disability. If you have symptoms of tendonitis, let experienced podiatrist Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, assess your injury and make a proper diagnosis. Dr. Isaacson and his team provide services in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City and specialize in treating conditions like Achilles tendonitis. If you have pain in the back of your heel and lower calf, it could be tendonitis, so call to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Tendonitis Q & A

What is tendonitis?

Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. You have tendons in many places around your body. They consist of strong, elastic connective tissue that joins muscles to bones. Tendonitis typically causes mild pain or aching in your lower calf after activity, which worsens over time.

You might also have:

  • Persistent swelling
  • General stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Tiredness  

These symptoms are likely to be worse when you get up after a night’s sleep.

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis affects the Achilles tendon, which is the strongest, thickest tendon in your body. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. It’s the large, solid tendon that you can see and feel on the back of your heel.

You use your Achilles tendon to help lift your foot when you walk, run, and jump. It’s very tough and can withstand 1,000 pounds of force and even more; however, it’s also the tendon that’s most likely to develop tendonitis.

What causes tendonitis?

Tendonitis could be due to an acute injury, where you’re jumping or running as fast as you can and push a little too hard. The tendon stretches beyond the point where it can spring back, and fibers in the tendon tear.

Trying to do more than you’re ready for when getting fit can lead to injuries like Achilles tendonitis. You need to build up your fitness gradually, doing a little more at a time to increase the strength and flexibility of the tendons.

Not bothering to stretch before you exercise can also cause tendonitis, and performing repetitive activities that put the tendon under stress in the same way on a regular basis can lead to microtears and inflammation.

You can also trigger tendonitis by wearing unsuitable footwear that doesn’t give your tendons the support they need.

How is tendonitis treated?

Initial treatments Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, uses are likely to consist of conservative measures. The aim is to reduce the stress on your tendon, so you should stop doing any activities that aggravate the problem, and avoid any high-impact exercise.

For Achilles tendonitis, a brace or support bandage helps limit motion in the tendon. You might need to wear a walking boot to further rest the Achilles tendon and avoid additional stress to the area. Physical therapy and home exercises are also invaluable.

You should also use footwear that supports your heel or put heel orthotics into your shoes to reduce the strain on your tendons. Massage and ice packs help reduce inflammation and ease tendonitis pain, and if you need pain relief, talk to Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, about the best pain-killing medicines to use on a temporary basis.

If these approaches aren’t successful, you might benefit from other treatments like cortisone injections or radial shockwave therapy. In severe cases, your tendonitis might require surgery.

Call Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, today to find out more or use the online form to schedule an appointment.