The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. It also is the most frequently ruptured tendon, usually as a result of a sports injury. Both professional and weekend athletes may suffer from Achilles tendonitis, a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon.
Events that can cause Achilles tendonitis may include:
- Hill running or stair climbing.
- Overuse or starting up too quickly without adequately stretching and warming up the foot.
- Rapidly increasing mileage or speed when walking, jogging, or running.
- Trauma caused by sudden and/or hard contraction of the calf muscles when putting out extra effort, such as in a sprint.
- Improper footwear.
Achilles tendonitis often begins with mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens. Other symptoms include:
- Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running.
- Morning tenderness about an inch and a half above the point where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone.
- Sluggishness in your leg.
- Mild or severe swelling.
- Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use.
- A bandage specifically designed to restrict motion of the tendon.
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for a period of time. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication.
- Orthotics, which are corrective shoe inserts designed to help support the muscle and relieve stress on the tendon.
- Rest and switching to exercises that do not stress the tendon (such as swimming).
- Stretching and exercises to strengthen the weak muscle group as well as massage and ultrasound.
If you have any questions about your foot health or symptoms that you are experiencing, please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Kylin Kovac at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center 208-529-8393 or schedule an appointment online.