doctor can tell if you have an Achilles tendon problem by asking questions
about your past health and checking the back of your leg for pain and swelling.
If your symptoms are
severe or don't improve with treatment, your doctor may want you to get an
ultrasound scan, or
Treatment for mild Achilles
tendon problems includes rest,
over-the-counter pain medicine, and stretching
exercises. You may need to wear well-cushioned shoes and change the way you
play sports so that you reduce stress on the tendon. Early treatment works best
and can prevent more injury. Orthotic shoe devices can also help reduce stress on the tendon.
Even in mild cases, it can take weeks
to months of rest for the tendon to repair itself. It's important to be patient
and not return too soon to sports and activities that stress the tendon.
Treatment for severe problems, such as a torn or ruptured tendon, may
include surgery or a cast, splint, brace, walking boot, or other device that
keeps the lower leg from moving. Exercise, either in physical therapy or in a
rehab program, can help the lower leg get strong and flexible again. The tendon
will take weeks to months to heal.
Although treatment for Achilles
tendon problems takes time, it usually works. Most people can return to sports
and other activities.