More than 200,000 sports-related Achilles tendon injuries are reported each year, along with another 100,000 that aren’t sports-related. While Achilles tendon injuries are more common in men over 30, women and children also experience these injuries. Causes range from a bad start on a sprint to overuse over a period of years to wearing high heels. Treatments include rest, ice, surgery, and electric shock therapy.
The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and one of the most vulnerable, so it’s no surprise that there are lots of Achilles tendon injuries or even that these injuries vary a lot. But it can be very frustrating when you’re in pain and there is so little in the way of firm answers.
Should you consider surgery, or stick with one or many of the popular home treatments? How long will you be out of commission? What activities should you avoid?
Let it heal.
Should you go to a doctor? If so, what kind of doctor? And when that doctor tells you to take it easy and let your tendon heal — which they often do — what exactly does that mean? We’re not providing medical advice here, but many of us have experienced the frustration of getting that very simple, common answer. Fortunately, we can also share our experiences and our insights. An informed patient is an empowered patient. Knowing the common experiences of people who’ve lived with Achilles tendon injuries helps you ask the right questions when you visit your doctor.