About Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis (also known as Achilles Tendinopathy or Achilles Tendinosis) is an overuse injury causing pain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. The Achilles tendon is a large tendon located in the back of the leg that inserts into the heel.
The pain caused by Achilles tendonitis can develop gradually without a history of trauma that is common especially to runners, due to the repetitive action and forces acting on the tendon. The pain can be a shooting pain, burning pain, or even an extremely piercing pain.
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What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?
There are several factors that can cause Achilles tendonitis. The most common cause is over-pronation. Over-pronation occurs in the walking process, when the arch collapses upon weight bearing, adding stress on the Achilles tendon. The term Achilles Tendinopathy is used to include both inflammation and micro-tears of the archives tendon.
Symptoms consist of pain and stiffness at the back of the ankle which may have come on gradually over time and are often worse first thing in the morning.
Achilles Tendonitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute tendonitis is usually more painful and of recent onset. If not caught early this can be a difficult injury to treat and there is a danger that the tendon can become weak and rupture.
Treatment and Prevention of Achilles Tendinopathy
Achilles Tendinitis (Tendinopathy/Tendinosis) gets harder to treat the longer you leave it before getting a diagnosis. The type of treatment will depend upon how serious it is.
The most common treatment is RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, and anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs).
Wearing a heel lift or heel pad in both shoes can help reduce the strain on the tendon by shortening the calf muscle very slightly. Arch supports will help reduce overpronation, and again reduce the strain on the foot and calf muscles. Gentle calf stretching exercises can help stretch the muscles and aid recovery.