David M. Grace, DPM
Location and Office HoursFoot & Ankle Care of Frederick
Frederick, MD 21703
- Anthem Healthkeepers (BC/BS)
- CIGNA HealthCare
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
- Coventry Health Care
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- MDIPA/MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare)
- Optimum Choice/MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare)
- United Healthcare
- Frederick Memorial Hospital
What can cause heel pain?
James Ioli, DPM, Podiatry, answeredHeel pain may occur when the Achilles' tendon, which runs up the back of the heel, suffers damage, inflammation, or degeneration. With Achilles' tendinitis, the tendon becomes inflamed. A separate yet related problem, Achilles' tendinosis, occurs when the tendon actually degrades -- much like a rope fraying. Because the symptoms and treatment of these two problems are virtually the same, you may not know whether you have Achilles' tendinitis or tendinosis unless you ask your doctor. Many patients have both disorders. But it's good to know, because if you develop Achilles' tendinosis, it's vital that you take steps to protect your tendon from further structural damage.
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendon problems?
Symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy may include:
- Pain in the back of the heel, in the Achilles tendon area. Pain may be mild or severe. Swelling may occur.
- Tenderness in the Achilles tendon area. Tenderness may be more noticeable in the morning.
- Stiffness that goes away as the tendon warms up with use.
- Decreased strength and movement, or a feeling of sluggishness in the leg.
Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture may include:
- A sudden, sharp pain that feels like a direct hit to the Achilles tendon. There may be a pop when the rupture occurs. This may be followed by swelling and bruising.
- Heel pain. (It may be severe.) .
- Not being able to go on tiptoe with the hurt leg.
If you have a partial rupture (tear) of the Achilles tendon, you may have near-normal strength and less pain after the initial injury, compared to what you would have after a complete rupture.
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Is an ankle sprain a serious injury?
One third of adults will sprain an ankle during their lifetime. In fact, each day in the US, 25,000 individuals suffer a sprain. Certainly if you are older, balance challenges put you at higher risk. As we gain weight, we place increasing stress on ankles, another risk factor for an ankle sprain. And weekend exercisers or as they’re called, weekend warriors, are also at high risk for a sprain.
A sprain occurs when you twist or roll your ankle beyond its normal range of motion. If you do sustain a sprain, consult with a doctor so that the level of sprain is determined. With less severe sprains, you may be allowed to continue light physical activity. You can use a temporary cane if you feel unsteady as you nurse your sprained ankle. Icing the affected area, ten minutes on and ten minutes off, every 2 hours during the first day, can help to limit swelling and pain. Continue to ice with less frequency for the next several days, especially if you are mobile.
You can also buy over-the-counter ace support. Just make sure it’s not too tight, especially if swelling is still present. Over-the-counter pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications can help as well, just follow directions carefully. Make sure these medications do not interfere with any current prescriptions you are taking. A doctor can determine if you do need more potent anti-inflammatory medications.
Sprains are not innocuous injuries. They do need appropriate medical attention, so you avoid the risk of a chronic injury that interferes with your quality of life, or that limits your ability to exercise. Take a sprain seriously and do get a follow up evaluation just to make sure healing is complete.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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