(Achilles Tendonitis; Achilles Tendinosis)
- Tendonitis—inflammation of the tendon
- Tendinosis—tiny tears in the tendon with no significant inflammation
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- Increasing your speed or running long distances too quickly
- Suddenly adding strenuous hills or stair climbing to your exercise routine
- Doing too much too soon after taking time away from exercising
- A sudden or violent contraction of the calf muscles, such as during an all-out sprint
- Running too much
- Lack of flexibility of the calf muscles
- Improper or badly worn footwear
- Inflexibility of the calf muscles
- An improper training program—such as increasing intensity too quickly
- Increased age—normal wear and tear can make the tendon more likely to become injured
- Tenderness—usually just above the heel bone and often more noticeable in the morning
- Stiffness that gradually eases as the tendon is warmed-up
- Pain after activity that gradually worsens
- Pain along the tendon during and/or after running
- Swelling in the area of the Achilles tendon
- Pain at the back of the ankle
Rest and Ice
Foot and Ankle Support
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Topical pain relievers that are applied to the skin
- Prescription pain relievers
- Wear appropriate footwear for your sport.
Do not use shoes beyond the advised duration. This will depend on:
- How frequently you exercise
- The surface on which you exercise
- The conditions in which you exercise
- Gradually add hill work, stairs, speed, and distance to your routine.
- Stretch and strengthen the calf muscles regularly.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org
American College of Sports Medicine http://acsm.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Achilles tendinopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 9, 2013. Accessed February 28, 2014.
Achilles tendinitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00147. Updated June 2010. Accessed February 28, 2014.
Common disorders of the achilles tendon. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/achilles-tendon.htm. Accessed February 28, 2014.
de Jonge S, van den Berg C, de Vos RJ, et al. Incidence of midportion Achilles tendinopathy in the general population. Br J Sports Med. 2011;45(13):1026-1028.
Irwin TA. Current concepts review: insertional achilles tendinopathy. Foot Ankle Int. 2010;31(10):933-939.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/28/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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