What is Achilles tendonitis?
- Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump. It can become inflamed from overuse or tight calf musculature.
- Achilles tendonitis is typically not related to a specific injury. The problem results from repetitive stress to the tendon. This often happen when there was sudden increase in the amount or intensity of exercise activity. For example, increasing the distance you run every day by a few miles without giving your body a chance to adjust to the next distance can lead to develop Achilles tendonitis. Also, having tight calf muscles and suddenly starting an aggressive exercise program can put extra stress on the Achilles tendon.
- Pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon in the morning
- Pain along the tendon or back of the heel that worsens with activity
- Thickening of the tendon
- Bone spur
- First step in reducing pain is to decrease or even stop the activities that make the pain worse. Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, can reduce pain and swelling. A heel lift can take some strain off the tendon and can also move the heel away from the back of the shoe, where rubbing can occur. If pain persists, see your podiatrist or physical therapist.