DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: Achilles tendonitis


When the U.S. men's soccer team played Germany in the World Cup last week, thousands of fans crowded into Chicago's Grant Park to watch on giant screens.

Team USA lost the match, but World Cup fever has hit hard, and many soccer fans are following the action.

As podiatrists at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Michelle Kim and I love to see people excited about sports, but we know soccer can lead to painful injuries. One problem the sport can create is Achilles tendonitis.

The Achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. Those who suffer from it experience irritation and inflammation in the large tendon in the back of the ankle. The injury tends to be common in athletes -- especially those who play soccer -- as a result of getting stepped on or kicked, rolling the ankle the wrong way or too much force when starting or ending a sprint.

Most often, the inflammation that comes with the injury can lead to pain and swelling.

There are several factors that may increase a person's risk of Achilles tendonitis:

  • Age and sex: Achilles tendinitis is common among middle-aged men.

  • A naturally flat foot arch can put more strain on the Achilles tendon. Obesity and tight calf muscles also can increase the strain.

  • Running or exercising in old, worn-out shoes can increase the risk. Running on hilly terrain also can put someone at higher risk of Achilles injury.

  • Those with diabetes or high blood pressure may be at at higher risk

  • Certain types of antibiotics have been linked with a higher risk of Achilles tendinitis.

The good news is that Achilles tendonitis often responds well to measures such as rest and ice. When it's persistent, treatment can include:

  • Medications: These can include over-the-counter drugs for pain, or stronger medications to reduce inflammation

  • Physical therapy such as stretching and strengthening exercises

  • Shoe inserts that elevate the heel to ease strain on the tendon

  • Surgery: If conservative treatments aren't effective or if the tendon tears, this might be done to repair the Achilles tendon

If you're suffering from Achilles pain from soccer or other sports, call our office so we can evaluate you and get you on the path back to health. We hope you enjoy watching the World Cup this summer, and go Team USA!

By Diana Emini

Many sports fans have been glued to the TV this week watching the NHL hockey playoffs and cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks as they try  winning their third Stanley Cup since 2010.

As a result of living so close to a championship-winning team, many kids across Lemont and beyond may have been prompted to pick up the sport in recent years.

Hockey has exploded in popularity. According to USA Hockey – the national governing body for youth ice hockey in the U.S. -- national membership stood at 195,125 players in 1990-91. Last season, its membership jumped to 510,270.

As podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, Dr. Diana Emini and I see plenty of kids with sports injuries in our Lemont office, and hockey is no exception.

According to Podiatry Today, hockey injuries fall into two categories -- high speed, low mass injuries from by a puck or stick that lead to contusions, lacerations and concussions. Then there are the low speed, high mass injuries caused by collisions with bodies or boards that usually result in sprains and fractures.

Injuries to the lower extremities account for roughly 27 percent of all hockey injuries, with 11 percent of those happening in the foot.

Meanwhile, among kids between the ages of 11 and 14, the injury rate is about one per 100 hours of playing time. Among players aged 18 to 21, the rate of injury is one per 11 hours of play. And in case you were wondering, pro players suffer injuries at a rate of one per seven hours of play – likely because of the intensity.

When it comes to hockey, sprains and strains are the most common type of injuries. In many cases, the best immediate treatment consists of R.I.C.E., which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

In addition, hockey can lead to the following:

  • Achilles tendinitis (When the tendon that connects the back of the leg to the heel becomes swollen and painful.)
  • Achilles tendon rupture (An injury to the back of the lower leg. If overstretched, the Achilles tendon can tear completely or partially. )
  • Blisters

If you or someone in your family is suffering from a sports injury, call of office get started on your way back to health. Pain is never normal, and we can get many patients into our office within a day or two.

Stay safe as you play, and go  Hawks!

By Michelle Kim