When Your Heel is Hurting
A normal part of aging is that slowly, over time, our usual routine can take longer to complete. This can include simple tasks like putting on socks or pants and, as you might have guessed, can be frustrating to do if it becomes uncomfortable! When you think about it, even the seemingly simple process of putting a pair of socks on can quickly become an acrobatic feat to accomplish, especially when your lower extremities are painful. Specifically, when we need to balance on one leg and bend our knee but it, for some reason, hurts the back of our heel - what’s that about? Most will brush it off as a normal part of aging but this is worth bringing up with your podiatrist. You might just be looking at the early signs of Achilles tendonitis!
- Painful, stiff, sore, aching - anywhere along the tendon running up the back of your heel and ankle.
- Being more sensitive or sore in the mornings than other times of the day.
- Pain that worsens with increased activity.
- Difficulty or discomfort walking barefoot, walking up a flight of stairs, or balancing on one foot.
A good number of Achilles tendonitis cases will resolve with rest and careful use of the affected foot, but only if foot care guidelines are followed to a T.
What to do when you have Achilles tendonitis:
- Stay immobile when possible – best-case scenario, wear a cast or removable walking boot to reduce the pressure and impact on your foot.
- Utilize cold therapy to help reduce swelling and inflammation - this can look like dipping your foot into a bucket of ice water or gently applying a cooling pack covered with a thin towel.
- Use oral medications when necessary, such as NSAIDs like ibuprofen - but be sure that you aren’t on any other medications that could be negatively impacted by using NSAIDs in addition to them.
- Night splints to help maintain a proper stretch in the affected tendon while you’re sleeping to promote healing.
- Ask Dr. Melissa Robitaille or Dr. Todd Newsom about orthotics, especially if you have flat feet or other foot problems like bunions or weak ankles.
Call us today at 912-988-3323 to schedule a consultation if you suspect you might have Achilles tendonitis or you’re having a hard time healing! We’re located in Pooler, Georgia in Chatham County.