Achilles Tendonitis Pain
The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis is a repetitive strain (overuse) injury involving lower leg muscles and tendons at the point where they attach to the bone, resulting in pain at the back of the ankle. Chronic overuse can lead to small tears within the tendon causing long-term weakening, making the tendon susceptible to rupture, which could result in a need for surgery. See our Achilles Tendonitis exercises for more information on how to help ease your pain.
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Causes of Achilles Tendonitis
Lack of flexibility and overpronation are two of the most common causes of chronic Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis may be caused by a single incident of overstressing the tendon, or it may result from a series of stresses that produce small tears over time (overuse). Other risk factors and causes of Achilles tendonitis include:
- Poor conditioning
- Stressful surfaces
Achilles Tendonitis Symptoms
- Pain in the heel and tendon when walking/running
- Pain and stiffness in the morning
- Tendon hurts to touch or move
- Warm or swollen area around heel and tendon
- Trouble standing up on one toe
Prevention and Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis
As with all injuries, prevention is your best defense especially with injuries that are as painful and inconvenient as Achilles tendonitis. Options for how to prevent Achilles tendonitis include:
- Stretching- Stretching properly, starting slowly, and increasing gradually will be critical if you want to avoid Achilles tendonitis. To help maintain flexibility in the ankle joint, begin each day with a series of stretches and be certain to stretch prior to, and after, any exercise or excessive physical activity.
- Orthotics and Heel Support- Bio-mechanically engineered inserts and heel cups can be placed in your shoes to correct misalignments or bolster the support of your foot and are available without a prescription. The temporary heel padding that these provide reduces the length that the Achilles tendon stretches each time you step, making it more comfortable to go about your daily routine.
- Proper Footwear- Low-heeled shoes with good arch support and shock absorption are best for the health of your foot. Look into heel wedges and other shoe inserts to make sure that your everyday foot mechanics are operating under ideal conditions.
Treatment options for Achilles tendonitis are focused on relieving suffering and promoting healing. If high heels are worn every day, stretching should be done every morning and night to keep the Achilles tendon lengthened.
- Cho-Pat® Achilles Tendon Strap- Helps reduce stress on the tendon to promote healing and relief. It reduces stress on the Achilles tendon by gently lifting the heel, and it can be worn in all shoes or barefoot.
- Tuli’s® Heavy Duty Heel Cups- Absorb shock and prevent unnecessary stretching of the tendon each time you step. This product provides relief by cushioning and elevating the heel bone to take pressure off the Achilles tendon. It absorbs shock and returns impact energy like the system naturally found in your feet and provides maximum protection in athletic shoes and cleats.
Long Term Healing
Stretch & Strengthen
- ProStretch Plus™- Calf and plantar fascia flexibility are critical to Achilles tendon health and healing. This product is proven effective to provide a deep, gradual stretch that increases flexibility. The ProStretch Plus is biomechanically engineered to enable a controlled and targeted stretch.