Achilles tendon is a tissue connecting the heel bone to the calf muscles
at the exterior of the lower leg. It is used while walking, running or
jumping. Constant and rigorous physical activity can cause overuse injuries
and degeneration of the tissue, a condition known as Achilles Tendinitis.
Although it is mostly seen in runners, the condition is also common in
middle aged people who are involved in sports like basketball or tennis.
Depending upon the damaged part of the tendon, Achilles Tendinitis can
be classified as:
Non-insertional Achilles Tendinitis: In this, the fibers in the middle part of the tendon begin to degenerate
and cause pain.
Insertional Achilles Tendinitis: It affects he tendon from where it attaches to the heel bone.
The most common cause of Achilles Tendinitis is excessive exercise, particularly
in athletes. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis are also prone to develop
the condition. Other cause may include:
- Exercising without proper warm-up
- Strained calf muscles due to repetitive physical activity
- Playing sports that involve sudden change of movements, such as tennis
- Wearing high heeled footwear regularly
- Wearing ill-fitted or worn out shoes
- Pain along the Achilles tendon, particularly in morning
- Pain at the tendon or back of heel
- Pain increases after a physical activity
- Bone spurs, in some cases
- Stiffening of the tendon
- Severe pain after exercise
- Swelling that worsens at the end of the day
To diagnose Achilles Tendinitis, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend certain
imaging tests such as CT scan, X-rays and MRI. He will also evaluate the
alignment, flexibility, range of motion and reflexes of the affected foot.
Applying Ice: Giving ample rest to the heel and applying ice pack on the painful area
can help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Medications: The orthopedic surgeon may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to
reduce pain and inflammation.
Exercises: The patient may also be recommended to do certain stretching and strengthening
exercises to boost the healing of the inflamed tendon.
Orthotic Devices: Wearing shoe inserts or wedge that keeps the heel marginally raised can
help to relieve strain on the tendon. Providing a cushioning to the heel
reduces the force exerted on the Achilles tendon.
Surgery: If the condition does not improve with non-surgical approaches or if
the tendon is torn, the orthopedic surgeon may prescribe surgery to treat
For diagnosis and treatment of Achilles Tendinitis, visit the
orthopedic surgeons at OrthoTexas, Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment, you can call
at (972) 492 – 1334.