Sharp Pain in the Achilles Tendon: [Causes & Best Treatment]
Sharp Pain in the Achilles tendon is usually nerve irritation, this will take approximately 2-3 weeks to get better if you follow these TOP TREATMENT TIPS.
Table of Contents
Achilles Tendon & Back of Heel Pain
Back of the Heel Pain Causes:
Back of the heel pain is most commonly caused by the Achilles tendon and back of the calcaneus damage.
The most common causes of back heel pain are:
- Fat pad atrophy can lead to calcaneus bone pain.
- Insertional Achilles tendinitis pain.
- Achilles tendinitis 2-6 cm above the heel bone.
- An Achilles tendon strain or rupture.
- Nerve impingement or entrapment in the heel.
- Achilles tendinosis.
- Back of the heel spur pain.
- Achilles tendon bursitis.
- Plantar fasciitis.
Achilles Tendonitis Symptoms:
- Achilles tendonitis symptoms can be a pain in the morning when you first wake up.
- Pain when trying to bend the foot up as the Achilles tendon inserts into the back of the heel.
- Worsening inflammation and tenderness while standing and walking for long periods of time.
- Improvement when wearing good shoes, good orthotics, and supportive sandals.
Causes of Achilles Tendonitis:
- The number one cause of sharp pain in the Achilles tendon is irritation of the nerves.
- You have your sural nerve here, and you have your other cutaneous nerves including the posterior branches of your posterior tibial nerve.
- A lot of things could irritated this, deeper down in this can be Achilles tendinitis.
- Or it could be your skin being irritated by eczema.
- It can also be assured rubbing up against the back of his heel causing nerves to be irritated.
The sharp pain explained:
- This means that you may have nerve irritation from the inflammation that occurred around your Achilles tendon.
- This will take approximately 2-3 weeks or more to calm down after the inflammation has been removed.
Symptoms Achilles Tendonitis:
- Obviously you have sharp pain!
- You may also have numbness, burning and tingling.
- You may also have a deep, aching and burning pain.
Conservative Home Treatment:
- If your Achilles tendon pain is sharp and it is not getting better after approximately 1-3 months of conservative therapy:
- Then it is likely that you may have had some nervous tissue impingement or irritation.
- The odds are greatly on your side that this is just a condition termed neuropraxia- which is just irritation of the nerve that lasts for a couple weeks before calming down, even if the inflammation in your Achilles tendon has already decreased.
- You should continue conservative therapy for another 3 months and wait for the neuropraxia to decrease.
- There are more aggressive anti-inflammation treatment options such as wearing a CAM walker, iontophoresis and injections.
- We prefer the home treatment options that can get you feeling better before the in office options.
Home treatment options:
- Prepare yourself for a few months to get completely relieved Achilles tendon pay.
- It is normal for 3 months and even up to six months in some people to get complete relief
- Consider rest, ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy.
- Before considering surgery- you should do your best to offload and reduce tension.
- Casting and CAM walker boots are the ultimate offloading method before surgery is to be considered.
It is a good idea to continue reducing pressure onto the area by finding anyway to prevent rubbing against the back of the foot, lifting the heel to remove tension onto the heel.
- It is also preferable to also continue reducing inflammation by continuing to take anti-inflammatories and Icing the region.
- Corticosteroids should not be advocated as injections around the Achilles tendon have been shown to increase the risk of rupture.
Podiatrist Office Options:
- Avoid corticosteroid injections into the Achilles tendon– studies have shown that corticosteroids can weaken the tendon if they are directly injected into the tendon, but if bursitis is present than it may be beneficial to decrease inflammation around the Achilles tendon and decrease nerve irritation.
- Iontophoresis – Two pads with an electrical charge combine to transport chemicals through the skin
- Inject the Bursa- If bursitis is present, injection into the bursa can be attempted, but avoid the achilles tendon
- Air Walker -Immobilization is the final step to preventing surgery, it is usually done for approximately 2 weeks
- Cast -Immobilization is the final step to preventing surgery, it is usually done for approximately 2 weeks
- Spur Removal Surgery – this can definitely get rid of the bump and get you feeling better fast!
- If you’re having bottom of the heel pain, then consider plantar fasciitis as a pathology.
- This can definitely cause you significant amounts of pain in the bottom of the heel.
- It may even radiate to the back of your. He also seems like Achilles tendon.
Back of the heel pain treatment:
Best Back of Heel Pain Treatment:
- There are usually two phases to treating back of the heel pain.
- The two phases of treatment include controlling the acute inflammation and correcting the biomechanics, which led to the problem in the first place.
- If the tendons and ligaments are inflamed, they are almost frozen in place and cannot function properly.
- Once the inflammation is decreased, we need to correct the biomechanical causes to ensure that the Achilles tendon can never become overworked and inflamed again!
- This doesn’t matter whether it’s The back of the heel spur, fat pad atrophy, insertional Achilles tendinitis, Achilles tendinitis, or even Achilles tendinosis.
- If you do have an Achilles tendon rupture or tear, seeing podiatrist care immediately.
Achilles Tendon Natural Treatment:
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is an excellent option that can be safe for almost everyone.
- There is some debate about whether icing is worth doing, but this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open for chronic pain.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- Manual massage on the Achilles tendon & calf muscle is a natural treatment that can also be considered physical therapy for your back of the heel pain.
- This works well for calf muscle pain and Achilles tendon pain.
- The more muscle and ligament tissue there is, the better ice will work there.
Menthol Based Gels:
- Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
- These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
- This works great for the ball of the foot.
- This can be very effective for pain relief, but this can decrease inflammation in the calf muscle and Achilles tendon.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- This allows less tightness and pressure onto the plantar fascia and heel.
- This is very effective for the arch, the gastrocnemius, calf muscle, and the hamstring and thigh muscles.
- This also works very well for the gluteus muscles if you are having butt cheek or hip pain.
- The massage stick can break up lumps in your Achilles tendon and heel pain.
Remove the Achilles tendon tightness.
- The key is to prevent future pain stress and trauma to the Achilles tendon muscle.
- This means keeping you active while keeping stress off of your Achilles tendon. This will prevent future re-injury and the development of plantar fasciitis.
- If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
- If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
- The best way to ensure that your plantar fascia, foot, and ankle ligaments are not overworked is to support them.
- The best way to support them is to use great orthotics and great shoes.
- Some people may also need to rely on supportive ankle braces and other supportive modalities.
Best Shoes for Back of Heel Pain:
- Getting a great supportive pair of Achilles tendonitis shoes will ensure that there is pressure removed from the heel and plantar fascia region.
- This is especially important if you have plantar fasciitis, heel spur pain, or Achilles tendonitis as well.
- Consider Achilles tendonitis shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Achilles Tendonitis Insoles:
- These are our recommended orthotics for Achilles tendonitis.
- Custom orthotics can work very well, but they should not be the first line of treatment due to the cost.
- There are different types of different shoes.
- Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic but allow for less correction.
- A full-length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot, or comfortable walking/dress shoe.
- We recommend doing everything you can to get a good supportive shoe that can fit a full-length orthotic.
- A further home remedy tip for Achilles tendonitis pain is cutting out a hole where the nodule uses scissors or a knife. Be careful and start with a very low-cost orthotic.
Best Full Length Achilles tendonitis Orthotics:
- These will only work in wider shoes or a good supportive running shoe.
- This will not work in sandals, flats, or most women’s dress shoes.
Best Dress Shoe Achilles tendonitisOrthotics:
- These are a great choice for dress orthotics.
Best 3/4 Length Achilles tendonitis Orthotics:
- These are great options for women’s dress shoes and thinner shoes.
- These are not the most supportive pair of orthotics.
Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:
- It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
- This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- This form of the back of the heel pain physical therapy breaks up the scar tissue.
- We personally prefer this method of stretching.
Get A Great Static Stretch:
- These devices are great for stretching while you are resting.
- This is an excellent Achilles tendonitis physical therapy that you can do at home.
- This will also help take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- This works great for plantar fasciitis.
- The static night splint can use it while watching TV or at night time.
Best Heel Compression Brace:
- A good compression brace can stabilize your foot from turning outward.
- This prevents your foot from pronation.
- The pronated foot will turn your foot outward, in your foot will rub on the outside of the shoe.
- This has solved their pain for many of her patients and is very comfortable to wear inside your shoe.
- This solves both pain and outward pronation for a relatively low cost.
Best Heel Stability Brace:
- The stability brace goes a little bit further than the compression brace to stop your foot from turning out.
- This takes the pressure off of your heel and plantar fascia.
- At the same time, this is a little bit bulkier and does not affect every shoe.
- We find people are a little bit happier trying the compression brace before the stability brace.
Severe Achilles tendonitis Pain:
- If you think you might have a broken heel, a calcaneal stress fracture, or something of similar severity, these products might help!
- Always remember to see a foot and ankle specialist like a podiatrist if you have plantar fasciitis or more severe pain!
Plantar Fascia Tear, Broken Heel Bone, Achilles Tendon Tear:
- If you have a traumatic injury such as a torn plantar fascia ligament, calcaneus stress fracture, heel fracture, or insertional Achilles tendon injury: consider protecting your foot!
- The best way to do this is, of course, to see your podiatrist and get evaluated with an x-ray, ultrasound, and potentially even an MRI or CT scan.
- If you cannot do so, it may benefit you to be in a cast, fractured boot, or even keep the weight off of it with a rolling knee scooter or other protective devices.
- We as podiatrists frequently take patients off work for very long periods of time when they suffer a traumatic injury. Unfortunately, there is no other way around us in labor jobs.
- If you have a sit-down job, there are ways to get people back to work quicker, but this can be not easy otherwise.
Heel Injury Boot Treatment:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your heel injury. The Pros are that your injured heel will hopefully have a chance to heal gradually! If you are immobilized too long, the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg.
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Offloading and Scooter treatment:
- These are favorite knee scooters and walking devices.
- If your Achilles tendonitis pain is severe, offloading can be very effective until the pain calms down.