The Achilles tendon
attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. Jumping, climbing and strenuous exercise can strain the tendon and calf muscle, which can cause the type of inflammation known as tendinitis. This injury
can be mild enough that it can be treated by over-the-counter medications or so severe that it must be repaired surgically. Chronic tendinitis can cause microscopic tears in the muscle which can
weaken the tendon and increase the risk for tear or rupture. Symptoms usually include pain and swelling near the ankle. Pain may lead to weakness in the area that increases with walking and running.
Stiffness in the tendon may be worse in the morning.
A lot of stress on the feet is the cause of Achilles tendinitis. It is a common athletic injury. Things that can cause tendinitis include, pushing your body too fast and too soon, sudden increase in
activity, sports that cause you to quickly start and stop, poor fitting shoes, bad footwear, severe injury to the Achilles tendon, running or exercising on uneven ground, running uphill, tight calf
muscles, bone spur (extra bone growth in heel that rubs the tendon and causes pain), flat arches, feet that roll in (overpronation), and weak calf muscles, not warming up before exercising.
The most common site of Achilles Tendonitis is at the heel to 4 inches above the heel. The diagnosis of this problem is made when the following signs are present. Pain in the Achilles tendon with up
and down movement of the foot at the ankle. Pain in the Achilles tendon when you squeeze the tendon from side to side. If you are unable to move the foot either up or down, or you have intense pain
when trying to walk, you may have a tear of the Achilles tendon, and you should see a doctor immediately. Also if you have severe pain in the calf, with or without discolorations of the skin, you may
have a blood clot, and this is a medical emergency; see a doctor immediately. If you do not fall into either of these categories then try the following suggestions.
On examination, an inflamed or partially torn Achilles tendon is tender when squeezed between the fingers. Complete tears are differentiated by sudden, severe pain and inability to walk on the
extremity. A palpable defect along the course of the tendon. A positive Thompson test (while the patient lies prone on the examination table, the examiner squeezes the calf muscle; this maneuver by
the examiner does not cause the normally expected plantar flexion of the foot).
To help heal your Achille?s Tendinitis, follow the R.I.C.E. Principle including Rest, Ice Compression and Elevation. In addition your physiotherapist will likely recommend specific exercises promote
healing and strengthening of the Achilles tendon and its supporting structures. As well an orthotic that elevates your heel can reduce stress on your Achilles tendon. Reducing inflammation in the
tendon is important too this can often be achieved with oral pills or topical creams. Over-the-counter pain medications or prescription strength such as ibuprofen. However, these drugs can have side
effects, like an increased risk of bleeding ulcers. They should be used only occasionally unless your doctor specifically says otherwise. Topical anti-inflammatory creams made with natural
ingredients designed specifically for feet and legs (eg ZAX?s Original Heelspur Cream ) target the affected areas and provides effective and safe relief. Tendinitis usually responds well to self-care
measures. But if your signs and symptoms are severe or persistent, your doctor might suggest other treatment options including surgery.
The type of surgery you will have depends on the type of injury you are faced with. The longer you have waited to have surgery will also be a factor that determines what type of surgery is needed.
With acute (recent) tearing the separation in your Achilles tendon is likely to be very minimal. If you have an acute tear you may qualify for less invasive surgery (such as a mini-open procedure).
Surgeons will always choose a shorter, less invasive procedure if it is possible to do so. Most surgeons know that a less complicated procedure will have less trauma to the tendon and a much quicker
rate of recovery after the surgery.
If you're just getting started with your training, be sure to stretch after running, and start slowly, increasing your mileage by no more than 10% per week. Strengthen your calf muscles with
exercises such as toe raises. Work low-impact cross-training activities, such as cycling and swimming, into your training.