There are many upcoming runs in our great state, but the Jolly Jaunt 5K on Sunday, December 7 in Danvers, MA is one with a great cause: the Special Olympics. Don’t let Achilles pain caused by Achilles tendinitis keep you from running in this race that can help out many young athletes who face so many challenges.

Achilles tendinitis is essentially the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is the largest tendon in your body. It is often found in athletes, because it’s an overuse injury. This means that when you put a lot of miles on your feet over a prolonged period of time, the strain can cause the tendon to become inflamed. If you feel pain in this area (the back of your heel) you will want to get it checked out immediately. Ignoring it can lead to a rupture or tear, which means more down time while your body heals.

Treatment is typically pretty straight-forward. The first thing to do is to stop the activity that is leading to the pain. You can try applying ice to the area while elevating your feet to reduce swelling. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory pain reliever as well. You can also engage in stretches, such as toe raises, to help strengthen the surrounding muscles. Other activities you can do include jumping jacks or skipping rope.

While you are healing try to refrain from doing too much high-impact exercise. You might consider cross-training with cycling or swimming in the meantime. Once you are able to do the stretches mentioned above without any pain you can slowly work your way back into running. If you feel pain you should go back to the beginning. If your pain lasts longer than two weeks you will want to come in and see us. Surgery may be necessary to fix an underlying problem.

For more information about treating Achilles tendon pain call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in our North Andover, MA office.