Achilles tendonitis is an overuse condition that causes pain, inflammation and or degeneration of the tendon which is found at the back of the ankle.
The achilles tendon connects the large calf muscles on the back of the lower leg to the foot at the back of the ankle, it is the thickest tendon in the human body. Tendonitis or tendinopathy occurs when the tendon is irritated and inflamed. Tendons are strong fibrous bands of tissue that connects muscle to bone. It usually occurs in people who have increased their intensity, and/or duration of their sporting activity, it is most commonly found in people who are middle-aged, and play sports such as tennis, basketball, football, squash.
When the achilles tendon becomes overloaded repeatedly it can become inflamed, and that is what can lead to the condition named Achilles tendonitis.
It occurs when the tendon has been subjected to either repetitive or excessive stress. Usually this condition is seen in athletes and those who participate in sports. It is therefore referred to as a sporting or overuse injury.
Other causes of achilles tendonitis include:
Achilles tendonitis can cause discomfort, swelling, redness, burning, and/or a tight feeling at the back of the ankle along the achilles tendon, or at the insertion in the calcaneus (heel bone). It tends to be aggravated after taking part in certain activities, and usually it is at its worse the day after it. Chronic achilles tendonitis can result in a marked thickening of the tendon as the fibres of the tendon degenerate.
Many cases of achilles tendonitis can usually be treated at home, but under your podiatrists supervision, self-care strategies are usually necessary to prevent recurring episodes
Podiatry for achilles tendonitis would begin firstly with a thorough history taking, which along with the signs and symptoms, and an examination of the achilles tendon, will lead the podiatrist to a diagnosis. If achilles tendonitis is confirmed, treatment will aim to reduce any pain and inflammation, as well as to reduce excessive stress on the achilles tendon. The following treatment options may be recommended for achilles tendonitis:
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