achilles tendon pain

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Achilles Tendon

I think for athletes or weekend warriors we have all had the dreaded Achilles tendon pain or tendonitis.  I can recall the first time I suffered with it and how long it took to get better.  It was a real bummer to be sidelined and put my workouts on hold for this issue.  It has been some years now since I have had any recurrence in part to my daily recovery routine.  It makes me wonder why it only took me 46 years to figure out the importance of active recovery daily!

The Achilles tendon never has an opportunity to rest when we are up and moving.  It is constantly firing for the gait cycle and is the biggest, thickest tendon in the human body with the most cross sectional load.  It is no wonder it is commonly inflamed and on average can take up to 6 months to recover from an injury.  This being said if you have pain or swelling do not wait to see a physician as the longer you wait the longer the recovery.

The best options to recovery from Achilles tendon issues are to first identify the underlying cause.  This can be training errors or foot structure issues or even overall body inflammatory processes.  Once these are identified next comes tackling the symptoms, ie swelling and pain.  These can be accomplished by many different options but one of my favorites is shockwave.  Shockwave utilizes sound waves to break up the inflammatory tissue and increase blood supply to repair the tendon.  Once this is accomplished stretching and strengthening are just as important.  Long term a program to maintain this tendon is essential.  If you are suffering with Achilles tendon pain I can help.  Please call 425-391-8666 or contact us online and we will get you on the road to recovery. 


Dr. Brandon Nelson


If you are an athlete at some point you have probably experienced Achilles tendon pain.  Most people will have this type of ankle pathology after starting a new program or ramping up their current workout schedule.  I personally have dealt with some insertional Achilles tendon pain and will give some insight as to what can be done to get you back to full speed.

It is important to know that the Achilles tendon is the biggest, thickest and strongest tendon in the human body.  It has more pressure per square inch than any other tendon and is constantly under load and tension.  Every time you step the Achilles tendon fires so it rarely has an opportunity to relax.  This is the primary reason it is common to have tendonitis in this location.

Other factors contributing to this can be related to training issues or foot structure issues.  Training issues are usually related to plunging into new techniques or training to hard.  It is important to build up to new levels and allow adequate recovery to prevent tendonitis.  I also am a big proponent of stretching and icing as this can speed recovery.  Foot structure or anatomical design can also have a role in this pathology.  Oftentimes patients will have a tight calf that they were born with.  It is important to establish a stretching protocol that encourages at a minimum of 3 times a day.  Other foot structures that cause Achilles issues are high arched feet or the cavus foot.  These type of feet tend to overload the Achilles. 

If you are suffering from Achilles tendon pain I can help get you back to full speed.  Give us a call today at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online


Dr Brandon Nelson

Board Certified Foot & Ankle Physician and Surgeon

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