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.
Although a specific incident of overstretching can cause an Achilles tendon disorder, these injuries typically result from a gradually progressive overload of the Achilles tendon or its attachment to
bone. The cause of this chronic overload is usually a combination of factors that can put excess stress on the tendon: being overweight, having a tight calf muscle, standing or walking for a long
period of time, wearing excessively stiff or flat footwear, or engaging in significant sports activity.
Symptoms of acute achilles tendonitis will be a gradual onset of achilles pain at the back of the ankle, just above the heel bone. This may develop over a period of days. The achilles tendon may be
painful and stiff at the start of exercise and first thing in the morning. As the tendon warms up the pain will go often for it to return later in the day or towards the end of a prolonged training
session. The tendon will be very tender on palpation or pressing in on the achilles tendon or squeezing it from the sides. Chronic achilles tendonitis may follow on from acute achilles tendonitis if
it goes untreated or is not allowed sufficient rest. Chronic achilles tendonitis is a difficult condition to treat, particularly in older athletes who appear to suffer more often.
To diagnose the condition correctly, your doctor will ask you a few questions about the pain and swelling in your heel. You may be asked to stand on the balls of your feet while your doctor observes
your range of motion and flexibility. The doctor may also touch the area directly. This allows him to pinpoint where the pain and swelling is most severe.
Achilles tendonitis should never be self-treated because of the potential for permanent damage to the tendon. While you are waiting to see your doctor, however, some patients have found relief from
symptoms with the use of Silipos Achilles Heel Guard during the day and a Night Splint at night. A topical pain reliever like BioFreeze Cold Therapy can provide temporary relief of pain. Achilles
tendonitis only gets worse with time.
Surgery is considered the last resort. It is only recommended if all other treatment options have failed after at least six months. In this situation, badly damaged portions of the tendon may be
removed. If the tendon has ruptured, surgery is necessary to re-attach the tendon. Rehabilitation, including stretching and strength exercises, is started soon after the surgery. In most cases,
normal activities can be resumed after about 10 weeks. Return to competitive sport for some people may be delayed for about three to six months.
By properly training the body, an athlete can build the strength of their tendons and muscles. Following a workout and dieting plan, the body will be able to build muscle and strengthen most
effectively. Additionally, doing the following can prevent tendinitis. Wearing appropriate shoes will give your foot the support it needs for proper movements of the foot and ankle. Improper
movements will put additional stress on your body. Stretching before an athletic activity, Stretching primes the body for a taxing activity. Additionally, this will get your blood flowing and reduce
the risk of pulling a muscle. Ask your doctor about orthotics, Custom orthotics can help get your foot into proper alignment. If the foot does not execute proper mechanics, the body will adjust which
will cause pain and increase the chances of injury.