Achilles tendonitis is defined as the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
Achilles tendonitis is caused by overuse or intense strain. Strain is put on the Achilles tendon when you walk, run, jump or extend your toes. Excessive exercise is the most common cause of the condition, especially in athletes. Although most common in athletes, there are other factors that can increase your risk. Among those factors is old age. As you age, the Achilles tendon weakens, making it more susceptible to injury. Wearing old or poorly fitting shoes or high heels for long periods of time can also increase your risk of sustaining the injury.
The most common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis are discomfort or swelling in the back of your heel, tight calf muscles, limited range of motion, thickening of the tendon and severe pain the day after exercising.
There is no way to completely prevent Achilles tendonitis, but there are a number of ways to reduce your risk:
In most cases, medicine or surgery are unnecessary. We recommend the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat your condition.
Rest: Stay off your feet for a few days, or until you can walk without pain.
Ice: Place a bag of ice, covered in a cloth or towel, on the Achilles tendon for twenty minutes at a time.
Compression: Athletic taping or bandaging the tendon can keep the Achilles from swelling too much.
Elevation: Raise your foot above the level of your chest. Reducing the blood flow to the area keeps the swelling down. The best way to do this is by lying down and placing your foot on a pillow.
If the RICE method does not help and Achilles Tendonitis symptoms continue, go and see your doctor because further injury may have occurred.