Achilles tendonitis, also sometimes called Achilles tendinitis, is a painful and often debilitating inflammation of the Achilles tendon (heel cord). The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It is located in the back of the lower leg, attaches to the heel bone (calcaneus), and connects the leg muscles to the foot.
The Achilles tendon gives us the ability to rise up on our toes, facilitating the act of walking. Achilles tendonitis often begins with mild pain that worsens with continued activity, and can make walking almost impossible.
Causes of achilles tendonitis may include:
- Activities that involve sudden stops and starts and repetitive jumping.
- Overuse resulting from the natural lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.
- Training on poor surfaces
- Wearing improper footwear
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty walking
- Fullness in your leg.
- Mild or severe swelling.
Treatment normally involves:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
- Orthoses, which are devices to help support the muscle and relieve stress on the tendon such as a heel pad or shoe insert.
- Rest and switching to another activity until condition improves
In severe cases, surgery is performed to remove the fibrous tissue and repair any tears.
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