Treating Achilles Tendonitis

Treating Achilles Tendonitis

If you have been feeling tenderness, pain, or discomfort around your ankle, you may be suffering from Achilles tendinitis.

What is Achilles Tendinitis?

The body’s largest tendon is the Achilles tendon. It joins your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when walking, climbing stairs, standing on your tiptoes, running and jumping. The Achilles tendon can endure plenty of stress from jumping and running, but it is also prone to tendinitis, which is a condition that results from overuse.

Achilles tendinitis refers to the irritation and inflammation of this large tendon. This condition exists in two forms:

  • Insertional Achilles tendinitis is when the lower section of your tendon, which connects to the heel bone, is affected. 
  • Noninsertional Achilles tendinitis is common among active adults; this condition involves inflammation and possibly small tears in the fibers of the central region of your tendon. 


The most common symptoms associated with Achilles tendinitis are:

  • Pain along the tendon or back of the heel that intensifies with movement
  • Morning stiffness and pain along the Achilles tendon 
  • Localized swelling that gets worse as the day progresses
  • Severe discomfort experienced the next day after exercising

If you feel a sudden “pop” in the back of your leg or heel, you may have torn (ruptured) your Achilles tendon. In this case, visit your doctor right away.

What Causes Achilles Tendinitis?

Repetitive stress on the tendon causes Achilles tendinitis. However, other factors can increase the risk of developing tendinitis. They include: 

  • Increased volume or intensity of workouts without providing your body time to adjust. 
  • Tight calf muscles –The Achilles tendon might be overworked if your calf muscles are tight and you start an intense training routine all of a sudden.
  • Bone spurs where the Achilles tendon joins the heel bone; extra bone growth might rub against the tendon, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Abnormal biomechanics such as having high or low foot arches (“flat feet”) can affect the load on the tendon.
  • Obesity can also cause increased load on the tendon.

Treatment Options

Once diagnosed with Achilles tendinitis, there are several treatment options to consider with your doctor. They range from simple rest and anti-inflammatory prescriptions to more invasive procedures such as injections or surgery.

Common conservative treatments for Achilles tendinitis include:

  • Applying ice to the affected region when in pain or after exercising
  • Elevating your foot to reduce swelling
  • Resting and minimizing physical activity
  • Using a walking boot or brace to avoid heel movement 
  • Using oral or topical anti-inflammatory medicines such as NSAIDs 
  • Shifting to low-impact workouts, like swimming
  • Doing gentle stretches followed by calf muscle strengthening exercises
  • Going to physical therapy
  • Kinesio-taping can help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Wearing orthotics (heel lifts) designed with a built-up heel to help relieve tension on the Achilles tendon
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)

Ultrasound-guided injection therapies:

  • Steroid injections – in some occasions a low dose of steroids may be considered to treat acute inflammation around the tendon, however, it is not recommended to treat tendinosis or tendinopathy (which is a chronic degeneration of the tendon). Steroids should not be injected into the tendon.
  • Cell therapies including Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections in which a high concentration of platelets, derived from the patient’s own blood, release growth factors and proteins that promote healing, inhibit inflammation and promote collagen and blood vessel formation. These injections can also be used to treat tendinosis and tendon tears.

Depending on the condition’s location and severity, you may have to undergo Achilles tendon surgery. The surgery may involve:

  • Gastrocnemius recession (lengthening of the calf muscles)
  • Tendon repair
  • Moving another tendon to the heel bone to strengthen the region
  • Removing the damaged tendon tissue, bone spurs, or both

Seek Help

After proper home treatment and some rest, the acute symptoms of Achilles tendinitis tend to go away after a few days. However, if the pain lingers for weeks, or you suspect that you have a torn tendon, contact us immediately. 

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Can PRP Therapy Help Avoid Surgery For Arthritis and Orthopedic Conditions?

Can PRP Therapy Help Avoid Surgery For Arthritis and Orthopedic Conditions?

Join our free webinar to learn about PRP, an innovative non-surgical treatment option for osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions.

Dr. Mary Ambach specializes in non-surgical orthopedics, regenerative therapies, and interventional pain management. As a key thought leader in the field of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Ambach conducts research, trains physicians, and lectures at international medical conferences.

Dr. Christopher Rogers is one of the world’s leading experts in orthopedic regenerative medicine and a renowned speaker at national medical conferences. He has developed new approaches for the treatment of tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and disc degeneration which provide a safe and viable alternative to surgery.

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Patient Success Story | Partial Tendon Tear Treated with the PRP Procedure

Patient Success Story | Partial Tendon Tear Treated with the PRP Procedure

Colleen is an active patient in her 60s who suffered from a partial tendon tear after a traumatic injury to her ankle. Her podiatrist placed her in a boot for weeks, but she continued to have pain and her injury was not healed. She consulted with Dr. Mary Ambach and was successfully treated with Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP).

Dr. Ambach is a very gracious and supportive doctor. I have had an amazing experience with her and am on the way to 100% recovery.

Partial Tendon Tear Success Story:



5 Common Reasons for Foot Pain

5 Common Reasons for Foot Pain

Foot pain can be very disruptive to your everyday life, especially if you’re an athlete or someone who’s more active than most. Getting relief is the primary goal of most foot pain sufferers and learning what caused the pain is just as important.


Gout is a form of arthritis that can be debilitating, especially when it affects the feet. It damages the joints in the ankle,  and toes. Most people who suffer from gout already know they have the condition, but if you’ve never been diagnosed, then there’s a possibility you wouldn’t recognize the symptoms. It’s common for people to develop painful bumps in the toes, as well as other deformities in the feet. Some areas may also feel inflamed and sensitive to the touch.

Ankle and Foot Tendonopathy

When the tendons in the ankles and feet become damaged, this leads to tendonopathy which causes pain. Most people who experience this are athletes or individuals who work out vigorously. Of course, tendonopathy and tendon tears can also occur as a result of an injury. This condition develops over time, and the pain may not be very noticeable at first.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are small cracks in a bone that develop from repetitive force or overuse in activities like running and jumping.  Fractures can develop from osteoarthritis, which can weakened the bones. When stress fractures are most common in the second and third toes and more painful when walking or running.

Plantar Fasciosis

Plantar fasciosis is thickening of the area where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone. The thick band of connective tissue runs the entire span of the sole and serves as a shock absorber while walking. People who are constantly on their feet often develop this condition.


Bursitis in the foot is inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between the joints and tendons. People who are in poor physical condition or who are overweight develop bursitis in the feet more often. Other conditions like arthritis and tendonopathy can also cause bursitis.

A variety of issues causes foot pain, and these are some of the most common that doctors treat. Prevention is the best method to fighting foot pain. You may not want to change your lifestyle, particularly if you’re an athlete or a very active person, but there are some things you can do to prevent these issues. Wear proper shoes when exercising or just walking, and always stretch before working out. Rest your feet when they’re tired, as overworking them is a surefire way to end up with one of these conditions.

You don’t have to live with chronic foot pain. We offer a variety of Regenerative Medicine therapies to resolve your pain without the need for surgery or steroids. Contact us today to find out if our gentle treatments are a good fit for your condition. (760) 909-2355.



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