Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis

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Achilles tendonitis is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common overuse injury that tends to occur in middle-age recreational athletes. The overuse causes inflammation that can lead to pain and swelling. Achilles tendonitis can lead to small tears within the tendon, and make it susceptible to rupture.

The two most common causes of Achilles tendonitis are:
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Over pronation, when the feet roll inward too much
Symptoms Include:
  • Pain over the back of the heel where the tendon attaches to the heel.
  • Limited ankle motion.
  • Nodule on the tendon.
  • Redness or warmth over the effected area.
  • Rest will allow the inflammation to subside.
  • Immobilization in patients who have more significant symptoms, a period of immobilization can help. Either a removable walking boot, or a cast, will limit unwanted movement.
  • Foot and ankle alignment can be treated with products such as arch supports, heel wedges and custom orthotics these products can be used to correct for irregularities such as over pronation.
  • Cold therapy applied to the inflammation helps stimulate blood flow, and relieves the pain associated with inflammation. Cold therapy should be applied several times over the course of the day.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease pain and swelling. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.
  • Physical therapists can help formulate a stretching and rehabilitation program to work on flexibility of the Achilles tendon.

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Achilles Tendonitis