What is Achilles Tendonitis

When your heel area is painful, swelling, irritated or bulging, you probably have Achilles Tendonitis. The Achilles tendon is the tendon that joins the calf muscle to the heel. Individuals who suffer from Achilles tendonitis have a most difficult time walking again until it is healed. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body and allows us to risk up on our toes and to be able to walk.

Causes

Sports activities that put a lot of pressure on the calf muscle and the heel tendon, such as basketball and football are commonly when Achilles tendonitis occurs. Sometimes Achilles tendonitis occurs when your activity level, strength or regularity of the workout, exercise program or sport game and practice increases.

Sometimes it happens when an individual pushes himself or herself too hard or too fast and the overused tendon becomes painful, tender and inflamed.

There are many reasons why a person may develop Achilles tendonitis including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, overuse during sports such as basketball and football, wearing of high heels, overeating can also cause tendonitis as being overweight puts a lot of pressure on the feet.

Those who hike, run, or those who skip or run for exercise are prime candidates for Achilles tendonitis. If a person has arthritis in the heel area it can lead to tendonitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

    • Pain in the heel while running or jogging or when playing sports.

    • Inflammation, redness or tenderness,

    • Swelling of tissue surrounding the joint

    • Softness and warm to the touch.

    • Firmness that goes away as your tendon warms up.

    • Inability to move joint

Treatment for Achilles tendonitis includes using ice, rest, elevation, and support by using ace bandage and or walking boot and also staying off the foot.

Pain relief is given by the ice and by using over-the-counter pain medications such as Aleve, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone shots or solution, and resting the foot for as long as possible to allow sufficient time for healing before walking on it again. Generally it takes two to three weeks for injury recovery from Achilles tendonitis to subside.

Risk Factors

Athletes who are poorly conditioned are the ones at highest risk for Achilles tendonitis. If you participate in activities that involve a lot of sudden stops and starts as well as repetitive jumping like dancing, tennis, and basketball then you are at risk for Achilles tendonitis. Overuse of the Achilles tendon can result in small tears over time.

Individuals who exercise infrequently and then all of a sudden begin an exercise program are also at risk because their muscles are more used to being inactive than active and their tendons have had little reason be flexible in the past and are now being required to stretch. This is why it is vital to do a warm up before exercising and a cool down afterwards. It is also important to stretch your muscles properly before exercising.

Abnormal rotation of the foot and leg pronation which is a congenital problem found at birth can also cause Achilles tendonitis.

Women, who wear high-heeled shoes on a daily basis and then switch to tennis shoes for exercise, are also at risk for Achilles tendonitis.

Typically the signs and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis develop gradually over time. The pain starts out to be mild and then increases as the activity continues. Repeated stress on the Achilles tendon may cause the tendon to rupture. A rupture makes walking difficult and usually requires surgery to repair the tendon.