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Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

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What Is Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis?

Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis refers to the inflammation or degeneration of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is a common condition, particularly among athletes and individuals who engage in activities that involve repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon.

Indication of Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

The main symptom of Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis is pain and stiffness in the back of the ankle, specifically around the Achilles tendon. The pain may worsen with activity, particularly during activities that involve running or jumping. In some cases, there may be swelling and tenderness in the affected area.

Achilles tendinitis is often caused by repetitive stress or overuse of the tendon. This can result from activities such as running, jumping, or excessive walking, especially when proper warm-up or stretching techniques are not employed. Other contributing factors include tight calf muscles, inadequate footwear, a sudden increase in physical activity, and biomechanical abnormalities.

Treatment for Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

The treatment of Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis aims to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Conservative measures are usually the first line of treatment and may include:

  1. Rest and activity modification: Avoid activities that worsen the symptoms and give the tendon time to heal.
  2. Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be recommended to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  4. Physical therapy: Exercises to stretch and strengthen the calf muscles, as well as eccentric exercises specifically targeting the Achilles tendon, can be beneficial. Modalities like ultrasound or laser therapy may also be used.
  5. Orthotic devices: Wear appropriate footwear or use shoe inserts that provide support and cushioning to the heel and arch of the foot.
  6. Immobilization: In severe cases, a walking boot or cast may be necessary to restrict movement and promote healing.

If conservative measures fail to provide relief, or in cases of severe tendon degeneration, more advanced treatments may be considered. These can include extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, or, in rare cases, surgery to repair or remove damaged tissue.

Recovery from Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis can take several weeks to months, depending on the severity of the condition and adherence to treatment. It is important to gradually return to activity, following the guidance of a healthcare professional, to prevent re-injury.

Early intervention, proper training techniques, adequate warm-up and stretching, and wearing appropriate footwear are key factors in preventing Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan.



If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Telemedicine appointments are also available.