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Achilles Tendonitis

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Achilles Tendonitis is a term that commonly refers to an inflammation of the achilles tendon or its covering. It is an overuse injury that is common with joggers and jumpers due to the repetitive action.

What Causes Tendon Pain?

Tendons are the tough fibres that connect muscle to bone. Most tendon injuries occur near joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle. A tendon injury may seem to happen suddenly, but usually it is the result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time.

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that is common especially to joggers and jumpers, due to the repetitive action and so may occur in other activities that requires the same repetitive action.

Most tendon injuries are the result of gradual wear and tear to the tendon from overuse or ageing. Anyone can have a tendon injury, but people who make the same motions over and over in their jobs, sports, or daily activities are more likely to damage a tendon.

A tendon injury can happen suddenly or little by little. You are more likely to have a sudden injury if the tendon has been weakened over time.

Common Causes of Achilles Tendonitis include:

  • Over-training or unaccustomed use – “too much too soon”
  • Sudden change in training surface – e.g. grass to bitumen
  • Flat (over-pronated) feet
  • High foot arch with tight Achilles tendon
  • Tight hamstring (back of thigh) and calf muscles
  • Toe walking (or constantly wearing high heels)
  • Poorly supportive footwear
  • Hill running

What are the Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis may be felt as a burning pain at the beginning of an activity. This pain subsides during the activity but returns afterwards. The tendon may feel stiff first thing in the morning or at the beginning of exercise.

  • Achilles tendonitis usually causes pain, stiffness, and loss of strength in the affected area.
  • The pain may get worse when you use your achilles tendon.
  • You may have more pain and stiffness during the night or when you get up in the morning.
  • The area may be tender, red, warm, or swollen if there is inflammation.
  • You may notice a crunchy sound or feeling when you use the tendon.