Achilles tendinitis refers to the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. However, this not the cause of the pain associated with Achilles problems. Most often the pain is caused by a tear or rupture of the tendon.
- Running up hills or climbing stairs.
- Speeding up quickly when running, jogging, or walking.
- Engaging in physical activities without properly stretching the back of the legs properly.
- Sudden trauma caused by jumping or sprinting.
- Improper footwear or the tendency to roll your feet inward while walking or running.
Achilles tendinitis often begins with mild pain after exercise or running then it gradually worsens.
*Note: To avoid causing further injury, see a medical professional immediately if you are experiencing one or all of the following symptoms.
- Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running.
- Morning tenderness about an inch and a half above the point where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone.
- Sluggishness in your leg.
- Mild or severe swelling.
- Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use.
- A bandage specifically designed to restrict motion of the tendon.
- Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for a period of time. *Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication.
- Orthotics, which are corrective shoe inserts designed to help support the muscle and relieve stress on the tendon.
- Rest and switching to exercises that do not stress the tendon (such as swimming).
- Exercises and stretching to strengthen the weak muscle group in front of the leg, calf, and the upward foot flexors.
Until you are able to see a doctor, practice the "R.I.C.E." method. This means:
- Rest. Avoid causing further damage by staying off the injured foot and ankle.
- Ice. Apply an ice-pack covered with a towel to reduce the swelling and numb the pain. *Note: Do not put ice directly against the skin.
- Compression. Use a bandage to wrap your foot and ankle to keep the swelling from getting worse.
- Elevation. Keep your leg slightly above your heart. You can prop it up on a pillow or couch cushion to help reduce the swelling.