Inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles is the large tendon connecting the two major calf muscles, gastrocnemius and soleus, to the back of the heel bone. Under too much stress, the tendon tightens and is forced to work too hard. This causes it to become inflamed and over time, can produce a covering of scar tissue, which is less flexible than the tendon. If the inflamed Achilles continues to be stressed, it can tear or rupture.
- Dull or sharp pain anywhere along the back of the tendon, but usually close to the heel.
- Limited ankle flexibility.
- Redness or heat over the painful area.
- A nodule (a lumpy build-up of scar tissue) that can be felt on the tendon.
- A cracking sound (scar tissue rubbing against tendon) with ankle movement.
- Tight or fatigued calf muscles, which transfer the burden of running to the Achilles. This can be due to poor stretching, rapidly increasing distance, or over-training excessive hill running or speed work, both of which stress the Achilles more than other types of running.
- Inflexible running shoes, which, in some cases, may force the Achilles to twist.
- Runners who overpronate (feet rotate too far inward on impact) are most susceptible to Achilles tendinitis
- Rest. Try to avoid activities that aggravate until the inflammation goes away.
- Apply ice to the sore area for 15 minutes three or four times a day to reduce inflammation.
- Often a doctor will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.
- Nrgize uses a combination of massage and ultrasound to treat both the area of pain in the tendon and the underlying cause; which is often in the calf muscles. We then take you through a gradual progression of strengthening exercises designed to aid repair and prevent further trouble.
- A program of home exercises to stretch and strengthen the Achilles tendon and associated muscles are essential components to further treating the condition and lessening the chance of recurrence.
If injury doesn't respond to self-treatment in two weeks, seek additional advice.