Achilles Tendinitis


Overview

Achilles tendinitis is a condition of the largest tendon in the body. The achilles tendon is located on the back of your leg and connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. In conjunction with the calf muscles it is used when you walk, run, climb stairs, jump, and stand on your tip toes. Although the achilles tendon can withstand great stresses from running and jumping, it is also prone to tendinitis, a condition associated with overuse and degeneration.

Condition

Achilles tendinitis is a common musculoskeletal disorder that affects both athletes as well a individuals with lower activity rates. Traumas as well as overuse are common causes of injury to the achilles tendon.

Symptoms & Signs

Common symptoms of achilles tendinitis may include pain and stiffness along the achilles tendon in the morning with first steps as well as pain when exercising. Swelling or thickening of tendon may also be noted.

Treatment

Rest, reduction of aggravating activities and identifying biomechanical factors are important steps in reduction of symptoms and recovery. Using proper footwear, addressing flexibility issues and short term elevation of the heel can help alleviate symptoms.

Symptoms & Cause

Achilles tendinitis pain and discomfort can be noted at various levels of the tendon, from the insertion into the heel or to a few centimetres higher towards the transition into muscle. There may be localized swelling or thickening at the irritated point. Movement of the foot upwards and downwards at the ankle may cause pain in the tendon. Stiffness in the ankle and tendon region may increase after a nights rest or after sitting for a long period of time. Athletic activities may still be possible as the tendon may feel better after warming up, but there may be severe pain in the tendon the day after activity.

Pedorthic Treatment

Achilles tendinitis treatment plans can have many options. After a biomechanical exam and gait analysis our pedorthists can determine the right plan of action for you.

Treatment for achilles tendinitis may include:

If you are experiencing achilles pain or discomfort, you should consult your physician for a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

 

Your doctor may refer you to OKAPED to see a Canadian Certified Pedorthist for Pedorthic management of your achilles tendinitis. This may include orthopaedic footwear, shoe selection guidance, orthotics and/or foot related products such as a night splint. If you know your condition and want to learn about new products and treatments please give us a call.

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