An inflammation of the tendon, Achilles Tendinitis is commonly brought about by overuse. Though athletes, particularly runners, are most at risk, less active people can develop achilles tendinitis from lack of stretching.
Various events can cause Achilles Tendinitis:
- Starting up too quickly after a layoff
- Suddenly increasing your running mileage or speed
- Hill running or stair climbing
- Overuse resulting from the natural lack of flexibility in the calf muscles
- Traumatic sudden and/or hard contraction of the calf muscles when putting out extra effort such as in a final sprint
Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis:
- Some swelling
- Achilles Tendinitis typically begins with mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens
- Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running
- Morning tenderness just above the point where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone
- Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use
- A sense of sluggishness in your leg
Common treatment of Achilles Tendinitis:
- Rest, and switching to another exercise, such as swimming, that does not stress the tendon.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
- A bandage specifically designed to restrict motion of the tendon.
- Appropriate Exercises, Stretching, Massage and Ultrasound, all meant to strengthen the weak muscle group in front of the leg and the upward foot flexors.
- Orthotics (heel pad or shoe insert), designed to help support the muscle and relieve stress on the tendon.
In most cases, the treatments outlined above will be all that’s needed. On occasion, surgery may be recommended to remove the fibrous tissue and repair any tears.