KnowYourDisease.Com Achilles Tendinitis Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment, Achilles Tendonitis, Achilles Heel Tendonitis, Achilles Tendon, Bursitis Achilles
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Achilles Tendinitis

Definition:
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation and/or degeneration of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

Achilles Tendinitis

 

Causes:
The Achilles tendon can become irritated for several reasons including:
  • Increasing your speed or running long distances too quickly
  • Suddenly adding strenuous hills or stair climbing to your exercise routine
  • Doing too much too soon after taking time away from exercising
  • A sudden or violent contraction of the calf muscles, such as during an all-out sprint
  • Running too much—overuse
  • Lack of flexibility of the calf muscles
Risk Factors:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
  • Improper or badly worn footwear
  • Improper warm-up for your activity
  • Inflexibility of the calf muscles
  • Improper cool-down
  • An improper training program
Symptoms:
Symptoms may include:
  • Tenderness usually located one to two inches above the point where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone (noticeable in the morning upon rising)
  • Stiffness that gradually eases as the tendon is warmed-up
  • Pain after activity that gradually worsens
  • Radiating or localized pain along the tendon during and/or after running
  • Swelling in the area of the Achilles
Diagnosis:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and exercise habits, and perform a physical exam.

Tests may include:

  • X-rays to see if there is calcium in the tendon
  • MRI Scan to view areas of interior damage to the tendon
Treatment:
Rest

Take a break from the activity that caused the tendinitis. Switch to an activity, such as swimming, that doesn't put stress on the tendon.

Orthoses

You may be advised to wear a shoe insert that will place your foot in the correct position for walking and running.

Physical Therapy
  • Stretching
  • Massage
  • Ultrasound
  • Strengthening exercises
Medications
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to ease the pain and decrease inflammation. This is not curative and must be combined with other treatment.
Prevention:
To decrease your chances of getting Achilles tendinitis:
  • Take the time to warm-up and cool-down properly.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for your sport.
  • Do not use shoes beyond the recommended duration. This will depend on:
    • How frequently you exercise
    • The surface on which you exercise
    • The conditions in which you exercise
  • Gradually add hill work, stairs, speed, and distance to your exercise routine.
  • Stretch and strengthen the calf muscles regularly.
 
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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