Achilles Tendonitis

Definition: Inflammation of the Achilles Tendon
Symptoms: Pain and swelling at the back of the heel
Causes: Over-use, over-pronation and tight calf muscles
Treatment: Stretching exercises and orthotics to correct over-pronation in the foot


What is Achilles Tendonitis?

Connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone, the Achilles Tendon is the longest tendon in the body. When your calf muscles contract, they pull on the Achilles Tendon, enabling you to point your foot and rise up onto your toes.


Latin for “inflammation of the Achilles Tendon”, Achilles Tendonitis is a foot condition that causes pain just above the back of the heel. During periods of inflammation, the Achilles Tendon may be tender to touch and noticeably thicker than usual. Walking, particularly when you push off your toes, is quite painful.


What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

Irritation and inflammation occur as a result of a persistently strained Achilles Tendon, and in severe cases, this can even lead to a rupture of the tendon. Tight calf muscles may also play a role in the condition, which is called Tendinopathy. Chronic overuse may also contribute to degeneration and a thickening of the tendon. Although this is most commonly seen in runners, our tendons can also degenerate as a result of the natural process of aging. Degeneration refers to the wear and tear that takes place over time, eventually leading to weakness in the fibres of the tendon.


The Most Common Cause

Over-pronation of the feet is actually the most common cause of Achilles Tendonitis. As your feet roll inwards, your lower leg is also forced to rotate, placing a large amount of pressure on the calf muscles. Your calf muscles are connected to the Achilles Tendon and the Achilles Tendon is the “weakest link in the chain”. Over-pronation causes the Achilles Tendon to over stretch, resulting in irritation and inflammation.


Achilles Tendonitis Treatments

Wear orthotics. Footlogics orthotics help prevent your feet from over-pronating as you walk. By wearing orthotics, you correct the positioning of the feet thereby reducing the strain on the Achilles’ and giving your tendons a chance to heal. Orthotics also prevent the situation from worsening, helping to avoid rupture.


Gently stretch your Achilles Tendons and calf muscles before participating in any physical activities such as running or other sports. Slow and gentle stretching is one of the best preventative measures against Achilles Tendonitis or Tendinopathy. You should feel a noticeable pull, but no pain.


Rest, listen to your body and treat Achilles Tendonitis with care to ensure that the injury does not become a chronic condition.

 

Achilles Tendonitis

 

 


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