Achilles tendinitis is a very common condition that triggers pain down the back of the leg close to the heel. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles onto your heel bone. It is the largest tendon within the body and is used during walking, running, and jumping. While the Achilles tendon can withstand great stresses from intense activities, it is also susceptible to tendinitis, a common condition related to overuse and degeneration.
Description of achilles tendinitis
Simply defined, tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon, which is the body’s natural reaction to injury or disease, and frequently causes swelling, pain, or irritation. The type of Achilles tendinitis is dependant on which area of the tendon is inflamed. In most cases, it is a type of overuse injury and is more common in younger people.
Causes of achilles tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis is generally not associated with a particular injury. The issue originates from repetitive stress on the tendon and can often happen if we push ourselves an excessive amount too early. Therefore additional factors can make it prone to develop tendinitis including:
• Sudden rise in the amount or intensity of exercise activity
• Tight calf muscles
• Bone spur
Symptoms of achilles tendinitis
Common signs and symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
• Pain and stiffness down the Achilles tendon on awakening
• Pain along side tendon or back of the heel that worsens with activity
• Severe pain the next day after exercising
• Thickening of the tendon
• Bone spur (insertional tendinitis)
• Swelling which is present constantly and becomes worse during the day with activity.
• A sudden “pop” at the back of your calf or heel, you could have ruptured (torn) your Achilles tendon.
Treatment for achilles tendinitis
Chiropractic treatment methods will offer alleviation of pain, although it usually takes several months for symptoms to fully subside. Despite having early treatment, the discomfort may last longer than 3 months. For those who have had pain for a number of months before seeking treatment, it could take longer before treatment procedures work.
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
• Calf stretch
• Eccentric Strengthening Protocol (contracting or tightening a muscle while it is getting longer).
• Supportive shoes and orthotics.