Achilles Tendonitis Definition
Typically inflammation, pain, and possible degeneration of the Achilles tendon. The pain which is typically located at the tendon's insertion point with the heel bone can be sudden or gradual during onset. Usually burning pain, shooting pain up the tendon at the back of the leg, or extreme piercing pain. Achilles tendonitis should not be left untreated due to the chance of further damage and possible rupture.
May be caused by trauma such as over dorsiflexion of the foot which can severely stretch the tendon, over-pronation during walking or running, improper shoe selection, inadequate stretching prior to athletics, a short Achilles tendon or heel bone deformity.
Treatment and Prevention
All athletes should warm-up and stretch prior to running or exercise. Decrease the duration of activity and avoid up-hill climbing. Conservative treatment consists of foot orthotic devices to control over-pronation, heel cups to reduce shock, control the heel position, and/or heel lifts to reduce the distance the Achilles tendon must stretch.