(262) 544-0700

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David Guhl, DPM
Amy Miller-Guhl, DPM
20700 Watertown Rd
Ste 200
Waukesha, WI 53186





What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. This happens when too much strain is being put on the tendon. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, and is located on the back of a person’s lower leg. It’s the largest tendon in the body and can withstand forces of over 1,000 pounds, but is still prone to becoming injured.

How is Achilles tendonitis caused?

Overuse or repetitive movements often cause this Achilles tendon problem. Such movements often happen while participating in sports, work or other activities. Hill running or stair climbing are often causes of the problem. If you enjoy running, jogging or walking, and you rapidly increase your mileage or speed you are also at risk. Trauma caused by a hard or sudden calf muscle contraction when putting out extra effort also can cause Achilles tendonitis. Lastly, incorrect or worn out shoes used during running or exercising could cause this condition.

What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?Your Achilles is a delicate tendon and taking precautions to prevent injury is better than curing one.

Achilles tendonitis will often begin with mild pain after exercising or running and gradually worsen. Severe, reoccurring localized pain along the Achilles tendon during or after running can also be a sign. Morning tenderness an inch and a half above where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone is common as well. Sluggishness, stiffness or mild to severe swelling may also indicate that you have Achilles tendonitis.

How do I prevent Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis cannot be prevented completely, however, the risk of developing it can be lowered. When it comes to working out, participate in a variety of different exercises. Alternating between low-impact and high-impact exercise can help a lot, because it means there are days where the Achilles tendon is under less stress. Also, try to limit certain exercises that put excessive strain on the Achilles tendon, like hill running. Gradually increasing the intensity and stretching before and after workouts are also great ways to prevent Achilles tendonitis.

What you put on your feet could also help prevent Achilles tendonitis. Make sure to wear the correct shoes and replace them when they are worn out. Always make sure your footwear supports the arch and protects the heel. Both of these attributes can lessen the tension in the tendon. You can also use arch supports inside your shoes.

How is Achilles Tendonitis treated?

The main purpose of treatment is to relieve pain and reduce swelling.  The type of treatment varies based on the severity of the problem, and whether or not the patient is a professional athlete. There are quite a few treatment options:

  • Ice packs – when applied to the tendon after exercising, or while it’s in pain, can help reduce the inflammation and discomfort.
  • Compression bandages – these are specifically designed to restrict the motion of the Achilles tendon.
  • Orthotics – these help support the muscles and relieve the stress on the Achilles tendon. Nonprescription and prescribed custom orthotics can both help.
  • Rest – possibly the most important treatment, this allows the tissue time to heal. Depending on the severity of the problem this may mean reducing workout intensity, or complete rest for days or weeks.
  • Stretching – there are specific stretches that a physical therapist, or your podiatrist will give you to strengthen and make your calf more flexible.
  • Medication – ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Elevation – the swelling can be reduced if the foot is raised above heart-level.
  • Steroid injections – consider these with caution. They can reduce the tendon from swelling, but have been associated with tendon ruptures.
  • Surgery – this is required to repair any damage done to the tendon. It’s also recommended if a patient has reoccurring Achilles tendonitis and inflammation caused the tendon to rupture. Surgery will be required when several of the above treatments are unsuccessful. 

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis and live in the Waukasha, New Berlin, Brookfield or Milwaukee areas, don’t hesitate to give Drs. David Guhl and Amy Miller-Guhl a call at (262) 544-0700, or schedule an appointment on the Waukesha Foot Specialists website.


Questions or Comments?
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Call Today 262-544-0700

20700 Watertown Rd.
Waukesha, WI 53186

Foot Specialists - Waukesha, David Guhl, DPM, Amy Miller-Guhl, DPM, 20700 Watertown Rd, Waukesha WI, 53186 262-544-0700