Achilles Tendinitis occurs when the Calcaneal tendon (Achilles tendon) becomes inflamed. The Calcaneal tendon joins the calf muscle to the heel bone. By lifting the heel, the Calcaneal tendon aids in walking and running. Athletes are prone to this injury because excessive recurring activities -- like running -- can overuse the tendon. Other individuals who don’t participate in such activities may acquire damage by prolonged stress on the feet, like standing for hours on end. People who have pronation of the foot -- flattening of the arch -- also have an increased risk of developing Achilles Tendinitis. The first symptom of inflammation includes mild discomfort around the tendon. As the condition progresses, other symptoms include:
Tenderness when the sides are squeezed
Several treatments are available to alleviate pain and heal the tendon. To reduce inflammation and pain, applying ice packs and taking an NSAID, like ibuprofen, are good ways to begin treatment. Proper rest with the combination of physical therapy can rehabilitate the injured tendon. Physical therapies such as strengthening exercises, massage, and ultrasound therapy, which normally lasts two to four weeks, can help to keep the inflammation under control. When physical therapy is not taking place, use of a walking boot may be helpful to reduce stress on the tendon. If Achilles Tendinitis is not treated, the condition could worsen to Achilles Tendonosis, which is the degeneration of the tendon.