Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinitis Video

Achilles tendinitis is when the Achilles tendon becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful at the heel.

The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It is used for walking, running, and jumping.

What are the causes?

Achilles tendinitis is typically not related to a specific injury. The problem results from repetitive stress to the tendon. This often happens when we push our bodies to do too much, too soon, but other factors can make it more likely to develop tendinitis, including:

  • A bone spur that has developed where the tendon attaches to the heel bone.
  • Sudden increase in the amount or intensity of exercise activity—for example, increasing the distance you run every day by a few miles without giving your body a chance to adjust to the new distance
  • Tight calf muscles—Having tight calf muscles and suddenly starting an aggressive exercise program can put extra stress on the Achilles tendon
  • Bone spur—Extra bone growth where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone can rub against the tendon and cause pain

Symptoms
Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:

  • Pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon in the morning
  • Pain along the tendon or back of the heel that worsens with activity
  • Severe pain the day after exercising
  • Thickening of the tendon
  • Bone spur (insertional tendinitis)
  • Swelling that is present all the time and gets worse throughout the day with activity
  • If you have experienced a sudden “pop” in the back of your calf or heel, you may have ruptured (torn) your Achilles tendon.
  • See your doctor immediately if you think you may have torn your tendon.

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