Achilles Tendonitis is a painful, sometimes debilitating condition common among active middle-aged people, caused by an inflammation and degeneration of the Achilles tendon.
The Achilles tendon is the large tendon at the back of your leg that joins your calf muscle to your heel. Injury to the Achilles tendon often develops gradually, and you may initially experience pain only after exercise.
As your injury worsens, you may start to feel pain during exercise, then during normal daily activities. People with from severe Achilles Tendonitis often complain that their first steps out of bed are extremely painful.
Several factors can contribute to the development of Achilles Tendonitis, including:
improper footwear, such as running shoes with air-filled heels, or cross-training and court shoes, which may overstretch a tight Achilles tendon;
excessively tight calf muscles;
inadequate stretching prior to exercise;
excessive hill running, which requires maximum stretch of your Achilles tendon
abnormal foot alignment, in which your feet to roll in (pronate) excessively, resulting in a twisting effect on your Achilles tendon which causes inflammation and pain.
Without treatment, your Achilles tendon may become weak and rupture, requiring corrective surgery, so it is important to see your Podiatrist as soon as possible if you suspect you may be suffering from Achilles Tendonitis.
Your treatment will depend on the causes and severity of your condition, and may include the following:
rest from aggravating activities;
stretches to progressively lengthen your calf muscles;
footwear changes to absorb shock and help support your feet;
prescription orthotics, if your condition is caused or exacerbated by excessive pronation and inadequate arch support.
Conservative treatment of Achilles Tendonitis has a high success rate when started early, allowing you to return to your sporting activities.
If you think you may suffer from or be at risk of developing Achilles Tendonitis, contact us.