No warrior in Greek mythology was stronger than Achilles. Likewise, no tendon in your body is tougher than his namesake, also known as the heel cord. But just like the hero it was named for, the Achilles tendon may be strong but is not invincible. It can stretch, tear, weaken, swell, even rupture or snap under repetitive stress or due to medical conditions. That’s why a thorough examination and diagnosis from Dr. Harvey Danciger is critical to developing the best treatment plan.
So what’s wrong with your Achilles? Some possibilities include:
- Achilles tendinitis - one of the most common causes of heel pain. Often caused by athletic overuse or repetitive stress, you may notice achiness, tenderness, stiffness, soreness, and chronic pain that gets worse over time.
- Achilles tendon rupture - a partial or complete tearing of the tendon often associated with a single traumatic injury. This one won’t creep up on you—you’ll experience a sharp pain and may even hear a snap or pop.
- Bursitis - another name for a swollen bursa at the back of the heel. The bursa is a small fluid-filled sac that lubricates and cushions the ankle joint where the Achilles connects to the heel bone. Pain and swelling are common symptoms. Technically this is not a problem with the Achilles tendon per se, but due to its location it can be confused for tendinitis.
- Xanthomas of the Achilles - which are small, whitish or yellowish bumps that can appear in the skin along the tendon. Although they’re harmless and painless, they generally indicate excessive levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream, which can be quite dangerous.
If you have any pain or discomfort in or around the heel cord area, make sure to stop in and visit Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA for your care. Our office combines decades of medical experience with cutting edge research and the latest technical innovations, such as laser therapy and diagnostic ulstrasound, to diagnose and treat your pain. To make an appointment, please give us a call at 760-568-0108 today.