Achilles tendinitis (also known as Achilles tendonitis or Achilles tendinopathy) is inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the point of attaching the calf muscles to the heel. Its main function is for plantar flexion of the feet, such as pushing off during running. The tendon can become inflamed as a result of repetitive stress or in some medical conditions, such as gout. Although a relatively common condition among runners, it can also occur in other sports such as high jumping and gymnastics.
- Swollen tendon, associated with warmth and tenderness
- Pain, worsening when the ankle bends upwards (dorsiflexion)
- Tightness of the Achilles tendon resulting in a 'toe-tough' gait (inability to stand on tip-toe with the affected toe).
What you can do:
- Rest the affected ankle in an elevated position.
- Ice compress may help ease the pain.
- Avoid weight bearing for days to weeks depending on severity. Use crutches to help relieve the stress on the affected joint. As symptoms resolve, normal activities may resume gradually.
- Add heel pads to both shoes to help reduce tension on the tendon.
- Consult a doctor if pain persists.
Video:Watch the following video, credit to injuryrehabadvice for more Achilles Tendinitis exercise tips:
- Proper and adequate stretching and strengthening exercises prior to any sports. The push wall method is particularly useful in this aspect as it really stretches the Achilles tendon.
- Gradual increase in the intensity and duration of training for all sportsmen.
- Allow adequate recovery time before the next game. This is to allow the tissue sufficient time to repair as there is a lot of wear and tear to muscles and tendons after each exercise session.
- Consult a doctor is you feel persistent pain over your heels after high impact exercise.