Leg injuries

what is Achilles Tendonitis?

what is Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition affecting the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon transfers forces equivalent to four to eleven times your body weight when running. Unfortunately, the body is not always able to tolerate that much force and the result is a painful Achilles tendon.

Can I ignore achilles tendonitis?

We advise that you are careful when ignoring tendonitis! If you carry on running you could risk long term damage. We would say don’t ignore it. If you take early action if can stop long term damage, stop a long recovery, and a long time off running.

What causes achilles tendonitis?

Running does put a lot of stress on your achilles, especially if you increase the frequency or distance of your training too fast.

Where is the pain from achilles tendonitis?

The most painful spot will usually be one to two inches above the heel. Initially (acute phase), a sheath around the tendon becomes inflamed, as the condition persist the inner substance of the tendon actually changes in structure resulting in weakness and pain (this is no longer an inflammatory condition). Treating Achilles Tendonitis at home is an option, and we have collated some of our best treatments to help.

How can I treat Achilles Tendonitis myself?

  • A heel lift will help decrease strain on the tendon and should be worn in your shoes throughout the day. A heel lift is most effective during the first two weeks of symptoms. I prefer Tulli heel cups.
  • Physical therapists can apply a treatment called iontophoresis, which is the use of an electrical current to apply a steroid medication over the inflamed tissue. Research has shown this to be an effective treatment to decrease pain more quickly in acute Achilles tendonitis.
  • Ice is most important during the first few weeks. Chronic Achilles tendonitis is not an inflammatory condition and requires a different treatment approach.
  • Insoles or orthotics (custom foot supports) may be able to position the foot in a way that reduces rotational forces on the tendon.
  • Stretching of both calf muscles at least twice per day.
  • Proper strengthening of the calf muscles can actually reverse the structural changes associated with chronic Achilles tendonitis. Try standing on the edge of a step, slowly lower your heel over the edge, and then return to the start position. Emphasize the lowering phase of this exercise. Perform this exercise with the knee straight and then with it slightly bent.