Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, which runs from the calf to the heel bone. Noninsertional
Achilles tendonitis affects fibers in the middle of the tendon. Insertional Achilles tendonitis affects the lower portion of the tendon where it attaches to the heel bone. Both types can result from
repetitive stress to the tendon or from overstressing the tendon during exercise. Damaged tendon fibers can calcify and bone spurs can form where the tendon attaches to the bone. Symptoms may include
pain and stiffness of the tendon - which may occur from either inactivity (such as first thing in the morning) or after activity - thickening or swelling of the tendon or bone spurs.
Achilles tendonitis most commonly occurs due to repetitive or prolonged activities placing strain on the Achilles tendon. This typically occurs due to excessive walking, running or jumping
activities. Occasionally, it may occur suddenly due to a high force going through the Achilles tendon beyond what it can withstand. This may be due to a sudden acceleration or forceful jump. The
condition may also occur following a calf or Achilles tear, following a poorly rehabilitated sprained ankle or in patients with poor foot biomechanics or inappropriate footwear. In athletes, this
condition is commonly seen in running sports such as marathon, triathlon, football and athletics.
Achilles tendonitis typically starts off as a dull stiffness in the tendon, which gradually goes away as the area gets warmed up. It may get worse with faster running, uphill running, or when wearing
spikes and other low-heeled running shoes. If you continue to train on it, the tendon will hurt more sharply and more often, eventually impeding your ability even to jog lightly. About two-thirds of
Achilles tendonitis cases occur at the ?midpoint? of the tendon, a few inches above the heel. The rest are mostly cases of ?insertional? Achilles tendonitis, which occurs within an inch or so of the
heelbone. Insertional Achilles tendonitis tends to be more difficult to get rid of, often because the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac right behind the tendon, can become irritated as well.
If you think you have Achilles tendinitis, make an appointment to see your doctor. The doctor will ask you questions about your recent activity and look for signs. The foot not flexing when the calf
muscle is pressed ( if Achilles ruptures or tears in half). Swelling on the back of the foot. Pain in the back of the foot. Limited range of motion in ankle. An X-ray or MRI scan can check for
Treatment for achilles tendonitis is based around initially reducing pain and inflammation, stretching the muscles out and a gradual return to activity. No one single approach may cure achilles
tendonitis, particularly a chronic condition but a combination of treatment approaches and patience will work best. It is essential the correct treatment is started as soon as possible in the acute
stage to avoid the injury becoming chronic. Acute achilles tendonitis requires rest. Continuing to train on a painful achilles tendon could lead to the injury becoming chronic and more difficult to
treat. Applying ice or cold therapy as soon as possible to a painful achilles tendon will reduce pain and inflammation. After the first 24 to 48 hours alternating hot and cold or just heat may be
more beneficial. Tendons work better when they are warm but if they are painful then rest and ice. Wear a heel pad to raise the heel and shorten the calf muscles which in turn reduces some of the
strain on the achilles tendon. This should only be a temporary measure while the achilles tendon is healing. An achilles tendon taping technique can aid rest by supporting the tendon with elastic
bandages. This is an excellent way of taking the load off the tendon if you have to walk around on your feet as well as protecting the tendon when returning to full fitness. Achilles tendon
exercisesMake sure you have the right running shoes for your foot type and the sport. If you are a runner that over-pronates then a motion control or support running shoe may be needed. Visit a
specialist running shop for advice. In the later stages apply heat, especially before exercise. The tendon will perform better when warm. Finish with cold after training to reduce any
Surgery for an Achilles tendon rupture can be done with a single large incision, which is called open surgery. Or it can be done with several small incisions. This is called percutaneous surgery. The
differences in age and activity levels of people who get surgery can make it hard to know if Achilles tendon surgery is effective. The success of your surgery can depend on, your surgeon's
experience. The type of surgery you have. How damaged the tendon is. How soon after rupture the surgery is done. How soon you start your rehab program after surgery. How well you follow your rehab
program. Talk to your surgeon about his or her surgical experience. Ask about his or her success rate with the technique that would best treat your condition.
The following measures can significantly reduce the risk of developing Achilles tendonitis. Adequately stretch and warm up prior to exercise. Warm down and stretch after exercise. Choose footwear
carefully and use footwear appropriate to the sport being undertaken. Use orthotic devices in footwear to correctly support the foot. Exercise within fitness levels and follow a sensible exercise
programme. Develop strong, flexible calf muscles.