What is it?
Achilles tendonitis is simply inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle.
It is one of the most common tendon injuries and should always be treated as early as possible.
Achilles heel pain is a condition that can be quite debilitating and is usually associated with swelling and pain.
Some may describe it as ankle heel pain because the pain is often located at the back of the ankle.
Sometimes the tendon may thicken, and a nodule (a lumpy build-up of scar tissue) may be felt in it.
What causes it?
There are several factors that can contribute to Achilles tendonitis-
The most common is overuse of the muscle/tendon following initial injury to the tendon.
A poorly functioning foot can cause the heel to shift outwards and “bow” the Achilles tendon. This damages the tendon sheath, resulting in painful inflammation of the area. This abnormality must be counteracted to stop recurrence of injury.
A sudden increase in training – duration/intensity, excessive hill running, speed work, or training on uneven surfaces can cause tearing of the Achilles tendon. Excessive heel cushioning and air-filled shoes can, over a period of time, lose their stability. Continued use of this footwear can cause the heel to sink into the shoe. This further stretches the Achilles tendon during times when the leg and body are moving forward over the foot.
Tight calf and hamstring muscles may contribute to prolonged Achilles tendonitis, due to the continual “pulling” strain they exert on the tendon.
Coastal Foot & Ankle Clinic can make the appropriate assessments to diagnose the true cause of your pain. Once we have determined this we can treat the true problem and not just the presenting symptoms to give you a long term solution not a short term fix.
Healthy feet provide the foundations for a healthy body and an active life!
Dr Peter Shelton BSc Hons. Accredited Podiatrist.