What is Achilles Tendonitis?
The Achilles tendon is the large tendon at the back of the ankle, which connects the large calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus) to the heal bone (Calcaneus), and provides the power in the push off phase of the gait cycle. The Achilles Tendon can become inflamed through overuse and other factors. It is estimated that Achilles Tendonitis accounts for approximately 11% of all running related injuries.
Achilles Tendoinitis can be acute or chronic, and acute Achilles Tendinotis is a result of overuse, or training too much and too soon—especially on hard surfaces or up hills. Chronic Achilles Tendinitis (tendonitis which has the tendency to reoccur) is the result of a lack of medical treatment for acute Achilles Tendonitis.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
- Pain of the tendon during exercise or during warm-up..
- Swelling over the Achilles tendon.
- Redness over the skin.
- A feeling similar to that of a creaking when you press your fingers into the tendon and move the foot.
Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis
Immobilization. Immobilization (or restricted movement) may involve the use of a cast or removable walking boot to reduce forces through the Achilles tendon and promote healing.
Oral medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation in the early stage of the condition.
Physical therapy. Physical therapy may include strengthening exercises, soft-tissue massage/mobilization, gait and running re-education, stretching and ultrasound therapy.
Orthotics. Foot orthotics will heel elevation relieves the stress on the tendon.
If your condition does not respond to non-surgical treatments, a surgical approach may be necessary.