Achilles tendonitis – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition that few know. Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, located in the heel . The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone or calcaneus. You use this tendon to jump, walk, run and stand. Continuous, intense physical activity, such as running and jumping, can cause painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon, known as Achilles tendonitis (or tendonitis).
There are two types of Achilles tendonitis: insertional Achilles tendonitis and non-unsustainable Achilles tendonitis . Inertial Achilles tendinitis affects the lowest portion of the tendon where it attaches to the heel bone . Non -insertional Achilles tendonitis involves fibers in the middle portion of the tendon and tends to affect younger people who are active.
Simple home treatments can help Achilles Tendonitis . However, if home treatment doesn’t work, it’s important to see a doctor. If your tendonitis gets worse, your tendon could tear. You may need medication or surgery to relieve the pain.
- Excessive exercise or walking often causes Achilles Tendonitis , especially for athletes.
- Symptoms include pain or swelling in the back of your heel .
- The RICE method is a common and effective form of treatment for mild cases.
Causes of Achilles Tendonitis: Excessive exercise or walking often causes Achilles Tendonitis , especially for athletes. However, factors unrelated to exercise can also contribute to your risk. Rheumatoid arthritis and infection are linked to Achilles Tendonitis .
Any repeated activity that strains your Achilles tendon can potentially cause Achilles Tendonitis . Some causes include:
- Exercising without a good warm-up
- Stretching the calf muscles during repeated exercise or physical activity
- Playing sports, such as tennis, that require quick stops and changes of direction
- Sudden increase in physical activity without allowing your body to adjust to increased training
- Wearing old or ill-fitting shoes
- Wearing high heels daily or for prolonged durations
- Having bone spurs on the back of your heels
- Being older, as the Achilles tendon weakens with age
Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis: Symptoms include:
- Discomfort or swelling in the back of your heel
- Narrow calf muscles
- Limited range of motion when flexing your foot
- Skin on your heel that is excessively hot to the touch
The main symptom of Achilles tendonitis is pain and swelling in the back of your heel when you walk or run. Other symptoms include tight calf muscles and limited range of motion when you flex your foot. This condition can also make the skin on your heel feel excessively hot to the touch.
Achilles Tendonitis Diagnoses: To diagnose Achilles Tendonitis , your doctor will ask you a few questions about heel pain and swelling . Your doctor may ask you to support the legs of your feet while observing your range of motion and flexibility. The doctor also feels around (palpates) the area directly to identify where the pain and swelling are most severe.
Imaging tests can help confirm Achilles tendonitis , but you usually don’t need them. If requested, tests include:
- X-rays, which provide images of foot and leg bones
- MRI scans, which can detect tissue breaks and degeneration
- Ultrasounds, which can show tendon movement, related damage, and inflammation
Achilles Tendonitis Treatments: Many treatments are available for Achilles Tendonitis , ranging from home remedies such as rest and anti-inflammatory medications to more invasive treatments such as steroid injections, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, and surgery. Your doctor may suggest:
- Reducing your physical activities
- Stretch very gently and then strengthen your calf muscles
- Switch to a different, less strenuous sport
- Freezing the area after exercise or when it is in pain
- Elevate the foot to decrease any swelling
- Wearing a strap or boot to prevent heel movement
- go to physiotherapy
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin (Bufferin) or buprofen (Advil), for a limited time
- Wearing a shoe with a fitted heel to take the strain off your Achilles tendon
Rest: Do not put pressure or weight on your tendon for one to two days until you can walk on the tendon without pain. The tendon usually heals faster if no additional strain is placed on it during this time. Your doctor may suggest that you use crutches if you need to walk long distances while resting your hamstring.
Ice: Place the ice in a bag, wrap the bag with a cloth, and place the rolled-up ice bag against your skin. Hold the bag on your tendon for 15 to 20 minutes, then take the bag off to let the tendon warm up again. Ice usually makes inflammation or swelling go down faster.
Compression: Wrap a bandage or athletic tape around your tendon to compress the injury. You can also tie an article on that area. This causes the tendon to swell too much. But don’t wrap or tie anything that tightly around your tendon as it can limit blood flow.
Elevation: Raise your foot above your chest level. Because your foot is higher than your heart , blood returns to your heart and keeps swelling down . This is easiest to do while lying down and placing your foot on a pillow or other raised surface.
Surgery: In the event that this treatment is not effective, surgery is required to repair your Achilles tendon. If the condition worsens and is not treated, there is an increased risk of Achilles rupture, which requires surgical intervention. This can cause sharp pains in the heel area .
Your doctor can recommend some options for tendon rupture surgery based on how severe your rupture is and whether you’ve had a rupture before. Your doctor will usually refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to decide which procedure is best for you.
Complications of Achilles Tendonitis: The most common complication of Achilles Tendonitis is pain, with difficulty walking or exercising, and your tendon or heel bone becoming deformed. You may also experience a complete tear (rupture) of the Achilles tendon. In this case, you will usually need surgery to correct the break.
One study found that complications such as hematoma ( swelling in the blood and clotting within tissue) and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein) are possible after surgery for Achilles tendonitis . Complications can get worse if you don’t follow your doctor’s instructions after an operation. If you keep putting stress or wear and tear on your Achilles tendon after surgery, your tendon could tear again.
Prevention of Achilles Tendonitis: To lower your risk of Achilles Tendonitis , try:
- Stretch your calf muscles at the beginning of each day to improve your agility and make your Achilles tendon less prone to injury. Try stretching before and after workouts. To stretch your Achilles tendon, stand with one leg straight and lean forward while keeping your heel on the floor.
- Facilitate a new exercise routine by gradually intensifying your physical activity.
- Combine high- and low-impact exercises, like basketball with swimming, to reduce constant stress on your hamstrings.
- Choose shoes with proper cushioning and arch support. Also make sure your heel is raised slightly to take the tension off your Achilles tendon. If you wore a pair of shoes a long time ago, consider replacing them or using arch supports.
- Reduce the size from heels to shoes gradually when transitioning from high heels to flats. This allows your hamstring to slowly lengthen and increase range of motion.