Achilles tendonitis is a common condition that causes inflammation and pain of the Achilles tendon that can be felt in the back of the ankle. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It helps lift the heel when walking, running, jumping or standing on the tiptoes.
Some of the causes of Achilles tendonitis include:
- Flat feet.
- Over pronation (feet that turn inwards when walking).
- Tight calf and hamstring muscles.
- A sudden increase in training – duration/intensity, excessive hill running, speed work, or training on uneven surfaces.
- Excessive heel cushioning and air-filled shoes.
- Direct injury to the tendon.
Patients with Achilles tendonitis usually experience the most significant pain after periods of inactivity. Therefore patients tend to experience pain after first walking in the morning and when getting up after sitting for long periods of time. Patients will also experience pain while participating in activities, such as when running or jumping. Achilles tendonitis pain associated with exercise is most significant when pushing off or jumping.
At Mint Foot Care, we can this condition by taking a thorough history, performing a biomechanical assessment and video gait analysis. Referral for diagnostic imaging such as an MRI maybe required.
Based on the findings a combination of treatment options may be prescribed including:
- Rest and Ice – keeping off the foot and reducing activity prevents further injury and encourages healing. Ice can reduce inflammation, swelling and symptoms.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication – help reduce the pain and inflammation such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
- Footwear recommendations.
- Custom made orthotic therapy – orthotics may be prescribed to address any biomechanical factors such as over pronation.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Ultrasound therapy.
- Dry Needling.