Achilles tendinitis is an
uncomfortable condition where a person?s large tendon in the back of their ankle becomes irritated and inflamed. It is a very common type of injury, most often seen in recreational athletes. This
makes sense because recreational athletes still play hard at their sports, but don?t have the full knowledge or training that comes with being a professional to prevent injuries. Achilles tendon pain
is not something to be taken lightly, so if you are aware of your own, you should definitely seek some medical advice.
Achilles tendinitis usually results from overuse and not a specific injury or trauma. When the body is subject to repetitive stress, the Achilles tendon is more prone to become inflamed. Other
factors may cause Achilles tendinitis, such as, Sudden increase in physical activity, which can be related to distance, speed or hills, without giving yourself adequate time to adjust to the
heightened activity. With running up hills, the Achilles tendon has to stretch more for each stride, which creates rapid fatigue. Inadequate footwear or training surface. High heels may cause a
problem, because the Achilles tendon and calf muscles are shortened. While exercising in flat, athletic shoes, the tendon is then stretched beyond its normal range, putting abnormal strain on the
tendon. Tight calf muscles which gives the foot a decreased range of motion. The strained calf muscles may also put extra strain on the Achilles tendon. Bone spur where the Achilles tendon attaches
to the heel bone, aggravating the tendon and causing pain.
Dull or sharp pain anywhere along the back of the tendon, but usually close to the heel. limited ankle flexibility redness or heat over the painful area a nodule (a lumpy build-up of scar tissue)
that can be felt on the tendon a cracking sound (scar tissue rubbing against tendon) with ankle movement.
There is enlargement and warmth of the tendon 1 to 4 inches above its heel insertion. Pain and sometimes a scratching feeling may be created by gently squeezing the tendon between the thumb and
forefinger during ankle motion. There may be weakness in push-off strength with walking. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can define the extent of degeneration, the degree to which the tendon sheath
is involved and the presence of other problems in this area, but the diagnosis is mostly clinical.
Take a course (5 - 7 days) of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(ibuprofen/voltaren/cataflam/mobic) available from your general practitioner or pharmacist. Apply ice to the Achilles - for 10
minutes every 2 hours, in order to reduce the inflammation. Avoid weight-bearing activities and keep foot elevated where possible. Self-massage - using arnica oil or anti-inflammatory gel. Rub in
semi-circles in all directions away from the knotted tissue, three times a day once the nodule is gone, stretch the calf muscle gently do not start running until you can do heel raises and jumping
exercises without pain return to running gradually full recovery is usually between six to eight weeks.
Surgery is an option of last resort. However, if friction between the tendon and its covering sheath makes the sheath thick and fibrous, surgery to remove the fibrous tissue and repair any tears may
be the best treatment option.
Suggestions to reduce your risk of Achilles tendonitis include, icorporate stretching into your warm-up and cool-down routines. Maintaining an adequate level of fitness for your sport. Avoid dramatic
increases in sports training. If you experience pain in your Achilles tendon, rest the area. Trying to ?work through? the pain will only make your injury worse. Wear good quality supportive shoes
appropriate to your sport. If there is foot deformity or flattening, obtain orthoses. Avoid wearing high heels on a regular basis. Maintaining your foot in a ?tiptoe? position shortens your calf
muscles and reduces the flexibility of your Achilles tendon. An inflexible Achilles tendon is more susceptible to injury. Maintain a normal healthy weight.