Achilles Tendinitis: (also spelled Achilles Tendonitis)

Achilles Tendinitis is a common condition that causes pain and discomfort along the back side of the foot and ankle. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump. The Achilles is tough enough to stand up to forces of 1,000 pounds or greater, but it is the most commonly torn tendon due to athletic injuries.

Achilles tendinitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed due to overuse, stress, injury, or degeneration. The most common cause of Achilles tendinitis is excessive pulling of the tendon. This often happens when we push our body to do too much, too soon. Whether you are an experienced athlete or a weekend warrior, this injury can strike anyone.

What Are Some Causes of Achilles Tendinitis?

  • Sudden trauma to the tendon from causing it to stretch too abruptly, such as when sprinting or jumping
  • Overuse
  • Fast increases in walking, running distances, or speeds without giving the body the chance to adapt
  • Quickly resuming sports or exercise activities after long periods of inactivity
  • Failure to properly and adequately stretch before exercise or activity
  • Repetitive climbing upstairs or running up hills
  • Inappropriate shoes, sneakers, sandals, or other footwear
  • Excessive foot pronation, or turning the foot down or to the inside when walking or running for longer-than-usual periods of time

What Are Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis?

  • Mild pain after exercise or activity that gets worse over time
  • Pain, aching, or nagging discomfort along the back of the lower calf, especially after running or exercise utilizing the calf muscles
  • Persistent swelling in the back lower calf area, not only during or after exercise
  • General stiffness, tenderness, or tiredness in the lower calf area, especially after a night’s sleep when the feet first hit the ground for the day

What can you do if you start feeling pain in your Achilles tendon? Applying the “RICE” principle is helpful. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It’s also important to be sure you are wearing the proper running or athletic shoes for your exercise and foot type.

If you continue to feel pain, there is much that can be done by your Cornerstone Foot & Ankle specialist. Other treatments can include prescription medication, ankle supports, custom orthotics, shockwave therapy, night splints, physical therapy, and more. Early treatment for Achilles tendon pain is the best chance for a full and complete recovery in the quickest time possible. Contact Cornerstone Foot & Ankle for an immediate appointment or request your appointment online TODAY!