Achilles Tendon Injuries - FamilyEducation

Expert Advice

Achilles Tendon Injuries

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Shari Nethersole, M.D.

Q
What if you have a burning sensation in your Achilles tendon, and it hurts after you play sports; can you tell me what it is and how to cure or help it?
A
I can't tell you for sure what it is, but I can tell you the most likely possibilities. If you play sports, it's quite common to get a tendonitis of the Achilles. This is an inflammation of the tendon, which is attached to the calf muscle in the back of your leg. It can happen if you stress the tendon by overuse, or if there is some tearing of the tendon when it is very tight. Sometimes the irritation of the Achilles tendon is from a bone at the back of the foot, that rubs up against the tendon when you move it, causing irritation and pain.

Usually, tendonitis would be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, along with ice and stretching exercises. Before starting this though, I would recommend seeing your doctor, to make sure that tendonitis is the proper diagnosis. Some types of Achilles tendon problems need to be treated surgically. It may not even be a problem with your Achilles, but a problem with your foot, and the treatment would then be different.

Shari Nethersole is a physician at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns.

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