Achilles Tendonitis is a relatively common condition that manifests as pain along the back of the leg near the heel.

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and provides the connection between your calf muscle and your heel bone. It comes into use whenever we walk, run or jump.

Although the Achilles’ tendon has a great capacity to cope with the stresses associated with running or jumping, it still remains prone to tendonitis, a condition associated with overuse and degeneration.

When tendonitis strikes it results in inflammation of the tendon, the body’s natural response to injury or damage in the heel region. When we push our bodies to do too much, the consequence of repetitive stress to the ankle tendon is most often tendonitis.

The key is to remain vigilant, particularly if you have suddenly increased the amount or intensity of exercise activity that you engage in.

Some early warning signs may include:

  • Pain and stiffness along the Achilles’ tendon particularly in the morning
  • Pain along the tendon or back of the heel that worsens with activity
  • Severe pain the day after exercising
  • Swelling that is present all the time and worsens throughout the day with activity

Once diagnosed by your podiatrist there are a number of remedial actions that you can take to improve the condition.

The first and most obvious is to decrease or even stop the activities that aggravate the pain. Look to engage in low-impact activities that put less stress on the Achilles area. Swimming and bike riding are two such options.

Other options include the use of ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications which will help to reduce the pain and swelling. Once the swelling has subsided some light stretching exercises can be employed to help strengthen the calf muscles and heel cord.

Your podiatrist may even suggest certain shoes and orthotic supports to aid in the long-term recovery. Shoes that are softer at the back of the heel can help to reduce irritation to the tendon, whilst heel lifts can assist in taking some of the strain off the tendon.

Contact Bentley Podiatry today for more information.