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heel pain at achilles tendon

Posted by Sue on 12/22/00 at 12:02 (035304)

I've had pain for a couple months at the back of my heels, not under the heels. It's where the achilles tendon attaches. It is sore and stiff when I get up in the morning and after periods of rest. It hurts to wear shoes with enclosed backs. I've had blood testing and no arthritis was found. My doctor adjusted my (hrt) hormone levels and found a thyroid disorder for which I'm taking meds and I'm taking 3 Tums a day. I've had temporary relief from hot epsom salt soaks. I am about 80 lbs overweight and am working with a trainer at a health club. Recently my doctor gave me Celenex and it makes the pain lessen considerably. My doctor has not given me a diagnosis yet. Any idea what my problem is called? Can you give me an idea of what else I should do? Should I request a referral to a podiatrist?

Re: heel pain at achilles tendon

Nancy S. on 12/22/00 at 16:23 (035312)

Hi Sue, I'm not sure if Drs. Z. and B. may have taken off for the holiday weekend by now. In the meantime, I can give you a layperson's view (I have / have had plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis, along with a few other beauties).
It sure sounds to me like you have achilles tendonitis. If I were you, I would make an appt. pronto with a foot doctor to be evaluated and diagnosed. Between now and your appt., I would stop any activity, and stop wearing any shoes, that aggravate your achilles pain. Don't go barefoot, and don't wear flat shoes -- your heels should be a little higher than the forefoot, to take stress off the achilles tendons. (Definitely not 'high heels,' but a shoe structured so that there's a little lift at the back.) Right now I'm wearing Birkenstocks (with my orthotics replacing the original footbeds) -- they're sandals, with straps across the top of my feet and a strap around the back. The strap around the back doesn't irritate the tendons like every other shoe I've tried has. I live in Maine, so it's crazy weather for this kind of footwear, but I've found it absolutely necessary. Anything that presses on or rubs the achilles tendons just makes the condition worse.
I hope this helps -- but do see a foot doctor (sports med., podiatrist, orthopedist) for a complete evaluation and diagnosis and treatment plan. Best of luck to you.
Nancy

Re: heel pain at achilles tendon

Dr. Biehler on 12/22/00 at 18:29 (035318)

Sue, Namcy gave some very good advice. You could have a retrocalacnial bursitis or an achillies tendon insertional problem. A good way to tell them apart is with an x-ray. Dr. B.

Re: heel pain at achilles tendon

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/25/00 at 18:28 (035389)

Early treatment with diagnosis is the key for any type of heel pain. Don't wait to see if this will get better. Find the cause.

Re: heel pain at achilles tendon

Nancy S. on 12/22/00 at 16:23 (035312)

Hi Sue, I'm not sure if Drs. Z. and B. may have taken off for the holiday weekend by now. In the meantime, I can give you a layperson's view (I have / have had plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis, along with a few other beauties).
It sure sounds to me like you have achilles tendonitis. If I were you, I would make an appt. pronto with a foot doctor to be evaluated and diagnosed. Between now and your appt., I would stop any activity, and stop wearing any shoes, that aggravate your achilles pain. Don't go barefoot, and don't wear flat shoes -- your heels should be a little higher than the forefoot, to take stress off the achilles tendons. (Definitely not 'high heels,' but a shoe structured so that there's a little lift at the back.) Right now I'm wearing Birkenstocks (with my orthotics replacing the original footbeds) -- they're sandals, with straps across the top of my feet and a strap around the back. The strap around the back doesn't irritate the tendons like every other shoe I've tried has. I live in Maine, so it's crazy weather for this kind of footwear, but I've found it absolutely necessary. Anything that presses on or rubs the achilles tendons just makes the condition worse.
I hope this helps -- but do see a foot doctor (sports med., podiatrist, orthopedist) for a complete evaluation and diagnosis and treatment plan. Best of luck to you.
Nancy

Re: heel pain at achilles tendon

Dr. Biehler on 12/22/00 at 18:29 (035318)

Sue, Namcy gave some very good advice. You could have a retrocalacnial bursitis or an achillies tendon insertional problem. A good way to tell them apart is with an x-ray. Dr. B.

Re: heel pain at achilles tendon

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/25/00 at 18:28 (035389)

Early treatment with diagnosis is the key for any type of heel pain. Don't wait to see if this will get better. Find the cause.