What is Achilles Tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Like many other foot disorders, including bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas, Achilles tendinitis will get progressively worse and may eventually lead to degeneration of the tendon if not properly diagnosed and treated by a foot care doctor or podiatrist.
What Are the Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis?
The most common symptom of Achilles tendinitis is pain or stiffness along the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel, particularly when walking or exercising. There may be swelling or warmth in the area. Pain may also occur after a period of inactivity or when getting up in the morning and taking those first steps.
What Causes Achilles Tendinitis?
Because the Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel, Achilles tendinitis is often caused by over training, overusing, or injuring the tendon during repetitive sports activities. Muscle tightness in general or back and hip problems that throw off the body’s proper alignment can sometimes be the culprit. Another major cause of Achilles tendinitis is tight calf muscles resulting from continuously wearing high-heeled shoes. Flat shoes can also cause Achilles tendinitis since they tend to shorten calf muscles as well.
Treatment for Achilles Tendinitis
The most common treatment for Achilles tendinitis is icing the injured area to reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can be taken in conjunction with icing. Gentle stretching, heel lifts in shoes, orthotics, padding, and wearing a different type of shoe are also helpful in alleviating Achilles tendinitis. If tendinitis is severe, staying immobile for a period of time will help to accelerate the healing process.