Achilles Tendonitis is a common condition that causes pain along the tendon that connects your calf muscles to your calcaneus (heel bone.) Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon that is caused by an injury or disease, and often causes pain, swelling or irritation. It results from repetitive stress to the tendon, tight muscles, or even bone spurs.
There are 2 types of Achilles Tendonitis:
In Non-insertional Achilles Tendonitis the fibers in the middle portion of the tendon begin to degenerate with micro tears and causes thickening of the tendon. It is most commonly seen in young, active people.
Insertional Achilles Tendonitis involves the lower portion of the heel, where the tendon inserts on the bone. The fibers begin to harden, and bone spurs often form.
- Pain and stiffness along the achilles tendon in the morning
- Pain worsens with activity
- Thickening of the tendon
- Bone spur
- Swelling that never seems to go away
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your doctor or physical therapist! After a thorough examination, a diagnosis will be made and rest and ice will be the next step. Be sure to stop all high impact exercise and switch to low impact exercise such as swimming or stationary bike. Under the supervision of your physical therapist you can begin a specified stretching and strengthening program that will allow you to return to your activities pain free.