Signs Your Achilles Tendon Is in Trouble

Signs Your Achilles Tendon Is in Trouble

Your body relies on connective tissue to attach your muscles — which power your movement — to your bones — which give your body the structure and support it needs. These connective tissues are called tendons. Of the thousands of tendons throughout your body, the Achilles tendon is your largest

This tendon connects the muscles in your calf to your heel. It plays a key role in powering every step you take. It’s no surprise, then, that it goes through a lot. And while it can withstand more than 1,000 pounds of force, it’s not impervious to issues. 

Fortunately, if you do run into Achilles tendon problems, William T. DeCarbo DPM, FACFAS, can help. Here at Greater Pittsburgh Foot & Ankle Center in Wexford, Pennsylvania, he offers dedicated Achilles tendon care

As with most injuries, though, the care required increases — as does the recovery time — the longer you let an Achilles tendon problem go untreated. So let’s look at some of the indicators that your body’s biggest tendon might be having an issue. 

Symptoms of an Achilles tendon problem

The most common Achilles tendon issue is tendinitis, or inflammation in this tendon. Some of the warning signs include:

  • Stiffness along your lower calf and heel, especially in the morning
  • Pain after exercising
  • Heel pain with certain shoes
  • Swelling, especially swelling that worsens with activity

All told, if you deal with calf or heel pain or stiffness, it probably indicates that your Achilles needs some attention.

Don’t ignore it. Left unchecked, tendinitis can heighten your risk for a tendon rupture. If that happens, you might hear a popping sound and experience significant pain, especially when you try to bend your foot downward. 

What to do if you notice these signs

If you think you might be dealing with Achilles tendon inflammation — or, more pressingly, a tendon rupture — don’t wait to make an appointment with Dr. DeCarbo. He can assess your tendon and recommend a personalized treatment to help it heal.

If you catch it early, this is usually fairly simple. Dr. DeCarbo may recommend rest and ice. 

If your tendon problem is more severe, rest is still critical. In addition to that, Dr. DeCarbo can apply treatments like:

  • Physical therapy 
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)
  • Custom orthotics
  • Casting or splinting

Generally, the sooner you address an Achilles tendon issue, the less you’ll need to do to heal it. To ensure this sizable player in your mobility continues to function like it should, get in touch if you notice any of the warning signs we just outlined. For the care your Achilles tendon needs, call our office or book your appointment online today