Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis is Latin for 'inflammation of the achilles tendon'. The achilles tendons are the longest tendons in the body, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. When the calf muscles contract, they pull on the achilles tendon, causing the foot to point down and helping you rise on your toes. Hence, the achilles plays an important role in walking and running.

Symptoms

Achilles pain occurs just above the back of the heel and often you will also experience tightness in the calf muscles. The achilles tendon may be noticeably thickened and tender to the touch. Pain is present with walking and running, especially when pushing off on the toes.

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Achilles Tendonitis Treatment & Causes

Achilles Tendonitis is Latin for 'inflammation of the Achilles tendon'. The Achilles tendons are the longest tendons in the body, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. When the calf muscles contract, they pull on the Achilles tendon, causing the foot to point down and helping you rise on your toes. Achilles tendonitis is caused by a strain condition caused by overuse and overextension of the tendons, but the symptoms of an Achilles tendonitis can sometimes be caused by one specific sprain of injury. As such, Achilles tendonitis treatments are usually more preventative and focus on conditioning and strengthening the area rather than reactive medical solutions. Most often, the best solution is to practice at-home Achilles tendonitis exercises.

 

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Symptoms of an Inflamed Achilles

An inflamed Achilles tendon will cause pain above the back of the heel that feels as if it stretches up the calf and cause tightness in the calf muscles. Achilles tendonitis causes the lower leg and affected area to be tender to the touch and many experience the following symptoms:

  • Burning pain, shooting pain and in severe cases, extremely piercing pain
  • Stiffness in the tendon and the surrounding muscles
  • Swelling and noticeable inflammation (thickened tendon)
  • Heat in the area
  • Pain when walking, running or during any activity that requires you to push off from the toes

Achilles Tendonitis pain can develop gradually without any history of injury or trauma. It is a common occurrence in sportsmen or those who are regularly active but is often most severe in those who have recently changed their activity level or shifted to a more impactful type of activity.

Acute cases can be quite debilitating and make even day to day movement too painful. If this is the case, seek Achilles tendonitis treatment from a podiatrist or consult your GP. The vast majority of cases are less severe and can largely be combatted with at-home prevention techniques and specific Achilles tendonitis exercises.

Achilles Tendonitis Causes?

Achilles pain is a common problem, and often experienced by athletes, particularly distance runners. Achilles tendonitis causes vary, but as above, they are most frequently caused by a change in activity. However, what causes Achilles tendonitis to worsen is often repeated strain even after the area has been weakened.

Achilles tendonitis is often overlooked as the symptoms can come and go, for example, it is often worst when returning to activity after rest. People who suffer from Achilles Tendonitis often notice that their first steps out of bed in the morning are very painful or experience pain after taking the first steps after long periods of sitting. The pain often lessens with activity but not overuse. This condition should not be left untreated because there's a chance the tendon will become weak and ruptured.

How To Help Achilles Tendonitis

It is a difficult injury to treat in athletes due to their high level of activity and reluctance to stop or slow down their training. Yet, if you are suffering from a bout of pain, one of the best Achilles tendonitis treatments is rest. This may require athletes to reduce the impact of their activity or change their training plan; this will directly target the Achilles tendonitis cause and prevent the pain from developing. Athletes that are unwilling or unable to change their training plan should consider supportive insoles. These can be worn in sports shoes or in every day shoes. It is important to strengthen the tendon and ensure it is supported; FootActive Comfort insoles can help reduce pain by supporting the arch to re-align the foot.

Achilles tendonitis exercises are easy to do and can be completed with limited or no apparatus. Simple toe stretches, with your foot pointing at a 45-degree angle upwards (with your heel on the floor) will help strengthen the area. Floor stretches and plantar fascia stretches are also effective Achilles tendonitis treatments. Achilles tendonitis exercises can be enhanced by proper massaging to the area, also.

For more information on Achilles tendonitis treatments, exercises and causes, contact one of our foot experts, today!

Achilles Tendonitis FAQs

How do I know if I have Achilles tendonitis? 

Experiencing uncomfortable pain and swelling in the back of your heel that worsens when walking is a symptom of Achilles tendonitis. Sufferers also notice tight calf muscles, a limited range of motion when you flex your foot and the affected area becomes warm to touch.

 

What causes Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is caused by a strain condition caused by overuse and overextension of the Achilles tendons, commonly experienced by athletes. Achilles tendonitis is also subject to worsen over time due to repeated strain even after the area has been weakened.

 

Why does Achilles tendonitis hurt?

Achilles Tendonitis is Latin for 'inflammation of the Achilles tendon'. Inflammation of the Achilles tendons can be extremely painful because they are the longest tendons in the body, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone.

 

Can you train/play sports with Achilles tendonitis?

It is highly recommended to avoid jumping, running or similar activities that increase strain to the Achilles tendons. Athletes that are unwilling or unable to change their training plan should consider Sports insoles to provide necessary support.

 

What can I do to help Achilles tendonitis?

As the condition can worsen with constant strain, it is strongly advised to rest the Achilles tendons. There are also some easy-to-do exercises that can be completed with limited or no apparatus. Other treatments include the use of supportive insoles and compression socks.

 

What stretches help with Achilles tendonitis?

Simple toe stretches, with your foot pointing at a 45-degree angle upwards (with your heel on the floor) will help strengthen the area. Floor stretches and plantar fascia stretches are also effective Achilles tendonitis treatments.

 

Can insoles help with Achilles tendonitis?

Sports insoles can provide extra support to the arches of the foot and cushioning to the heel. This lowers the risk of over-pronation and reduces impact to the heel. Therefore, lowering the amount of strain on the Achilles tendons. Sports insoles are also great at preventing Achilles tendonitis in the first place.

 

Can compression socks help Achilles tendonitis?

Compression socks will not cure Achilles tendonitis, but the supportive pressure being applied to the back of the heel can alleviate painful symptoms and help with the recovery process.

 

What happens if Achilles tendonitis goes untreated?

Ignoring Achilles tendonitis could lead to a rupture of the tendon. This is most likely to happen when continuing to apply stress on the tendons after Achilles tendonitis occurs.

 

How long does Achilles tendonitis last for?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. Recovery time can be reduced if treated correctly, but for most people it can take around 12 weeks for pain and movement to go back to normal. This condition is sometimes also called Achilles tendinopathy.

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