The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. Tendons are made of long, tough cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone. The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the foot and connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. It helps you to walk, run and jump. Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great amounts of stress, it can occasionally become injured.
Overuse of the Achilles tendon may cause the tendon to swell, become irritated, inflamed and cause pain.
What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?
Too much stress on the feet causes Achilles tendonitis. It is a common athletic injury among runners and other athletes who are on their feet a lot. Things that can cause tendonitis include:
- Pushing your body too fast and too soon
- Sports that cause you to quickly start and stop
- Poor fitting shoes, bad footwear
- Running or exercising on uneven ground
- Running uphill
- Tight calf muscles
- Bone spur (extra bone growth in heel that rubs the tendon and causes pain)
- Flat arches, feet that roll in (overpronation), and weak calf muscles
- Not warming up before exercising
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?
A patient with Achilles tendonitis may experience the following symptoms:
- Weakness in the leg
- Slight pain above the heel in the lower leg after activity
- Feeling of stiffness in the leg that usually appears in the morning and lessens throughout the day
- Bad pain the day after exercising
- Pain as you climb stairs or go uphill
- Swelling in the area of the Achilles tendon
- Creaking or cracking noise when you press on the Achilles tendon
How Achilles tendonitis be prevented?
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of Achilles tendonitis:
- Warm up every time before you exercise or play a sport
- Rotate your exercises
- Slowly increase the length and intensity of your workouts
- Keep your muscles active year-round
If you have Achilles tendonitis, the team at HROSM can help with physical therapy and other non surgical treatment options. Pain lasting more than six months may require surgery. If you want to learn more about treating your achilles tendonitis, schedule an appointment online today.