Causes and Symptoms
In some cases, Achilles tendonitis can be caused by physical activity without a proper warm up or trauma, such as falling, to cause an overstressing of the muscle and tendon. Other causes include repetitive overuse syndrome, such as a job that requires frequent heel lifting. Pronation (or fallen arches) will cause the heel (calcaneus) to lean slightly, putting undue stress on the Achilles tendon and the calf muscle.
Most pain can be felt at the back of the heel or the point at which the calf muscle becomes a tendon three quarters of the distance down from the knee. Discomfort can be felt especially when jumping or when lifting the heel off the ground. Swelling and redness can often be seen at the back of the heel and touching the area would cause a tender sensation. In extreme cases, the tendon can become torn or ruptured entirely which would cause bruising or an inability to put pressure on the foot.
Proper footwear with a strong secure counter (the heel circumference) may help to encourage healing of the tendon.
A tendonitis will occasionally resolve on it’s own with rest, ice and gentle stretching. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, consult your physician. You physician may suggest physiotherapy or custom Orthotics.
Physiotherapy can suggest appropriate exercises and modalities to aid in the healing process. Custom Orthotics can be very successful in treating the problem, as the original cause may be due to an improper alignment of the foot and heel. Re-aligning the foot to a neutral position may provide an optimal, biomechanically sound environment for healing to occur.