Definition: inflammation in the tendon of the calf muscle, where it attaches to the heel bone
Medical terminology: Achilles tendonitis, Achilles tendonopathy, Achilles tenosynovitis
What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. This tendon can be felt behind the ankle joint and feels like a cord. The Achilles tendon assists to raise the heel off the ground while walking, running or jumping.
What can cause Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is commonly referred to as an ‘overuse’ injury. Increased or repetitive activity which puts too much stress on the Achilles tendon can lead to micro injury of the Achilles tendon. Due to the continual stress on the Achilles tendon, the body is unable to repair the injured tendon resulting in pain.
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?
- Pain, soreness, tenderness, stiffness or aching in the Achilles tendon
- Pain or tenderness when the tendon is squeezed
- Swelling of the Achilles tendon
Risk factors for causing Achilles tendonitis
- ‘Weekend Warriors’ – people who participate in athletics rarely or only on weekends
- Sudden amounts of excessive activity such as a very long walk, hike or quick pick-up game
- Flat feet or excessive pronation (flattening of the arch)