The Achilles tendon camera.gif connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It lets you rise up on your toes and push off when you walk or run. The two main problems are,
Achilles tendinopathy. This includes one of two conditions, Tendinitis. This actually means "inflammation of the tendon." But inflammation is rarely the cause of tendon pain. Tendinosis. This refers
to tiny tears (microtears) in the tissue in and around the tendon. These tears are caused by overuse. In most cases, Achilles tendon pain is the result of tendinosis, not tendinitis. Some experts now
use the term tendinopathy to include both inflammation and microtears. But many doctors may still use the term tendinitis to describe a tendon injury. Problems with the Achilles tendon may seem to
happen suddenly. But usually they are the result of many tiny tears in the tendon that have happened over time. Achilles tendinopathy is likely to occur in men older than 30. Most Achilles tendon
ruptures occur in people 30 to 50 years old who are recreational athletes ("weekend warriors"). Ruptures can also happen in older adults.
Achilles tendinitis is typically not related to a specific injury. The problem results from repetitive stress to the tendon. This often happens when we push our bodies to do too much, too soon, but
other factors can make it more likely to develop tendinitis, including a bone spur that has developed where the tendon attaches to the heel bone, 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 new distance, Tight calf muscles, Having tight calf muscles
and suddenly starting an aggressive exercise program can put extra stress on the Achilles tendon, Bone spur-Extra bone growth where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone can rub against the
tendon and cause pain.
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.
A doctor examines the patient, checking for pain and swelling along the posterior of the leg. The doctor interviews the patient regarding the onset, history, and description of pain and weakness. The
muscles, tissues, bones, and blood vessels may be evaluated with imaging studies, such as X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI.
Nonsurgical methods include rest and stop doing activities that cause stress to the tendon. Ice the area by applying ice to the tendon for 15 minutes after exercising. Compress the tendon by using an
athletic wrap or surgical tape. Elevate your injury. You can reduce swelling by lying down and raising your foot at a level that is above your heart. Stretch your ankles and calf muscles. Take
anti-inflammatory medication (e.g.: ibuprofen to reduce swelling). Wear orthotics and running shoes. Take part in physical therapy.
If non-surgical approaches fail to restore the tendon to its normal condition, surgery may be necessary. The foot and ankle surgeon will select the best procedure to repair the tendon, based upon the
extent of the injury, the patient?s age and activity level, and other factors.
Achilles tendinitis cannot always be prevented but the following tips will help you reduce your risk. If you are new to a sport, gradually ramp up your activity level to your desired intensity and
duration. If you experience pain while exercising, stop. Avoid strenuous activity that puts excessive stress on your Achilles tendon. If you have a demanding workout planned, warm up slowly and
thoroughly. Always exercise in shoes that are in good condition and appropriate for your activity or sport. Be sure to stretch your calf muscles and Achilles tendon before and after working out. If
you suffer from Achilles tendinitis make sure you treat it properly and promptly. If self-care techniques don?t work, don?t delay. Book a consultation with a foot care expert or you may find yourself
sidelined from your favourite sports and activities.