Started getting pain at the back of your heel? You may be experiencing Achilles tendonitis. Although not limited to this population, Achilles tendonitis is common in runners and athletes participating in repetitive jumping sports.
What is it?
Your Achilles tendon is located at the backlower leg, closer to your heel. It is a band of your
connective tissue that attaches your calf musculature (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the back of your heel. Achilles tendonitis is the acute inflammation or swelling of the Achilles tendon.
There are two types of Achilles tendonitis: insertional and non-insertional.
- Insertional Achilles tendonitis occurs when pain is on or within 2 cm of the back of the heel.
- Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis occurs when pain is 2-7 cm above the insertion.
My prescription says something else…
Perhaps your prescription says “Achilles’ tendonopathy” or “Achilles tendinosis.” There are several similar pathologies associated with the Achilles tendon! Achilles tendonopathy is an umbrella term used to describe any pain and swelling surrounding the Achilles tendon, whether local or diffuse. Achilles tendinosis is the result of overuse, often from repetitive strain over time. Although Achilles tendinosis has similar signs and symptoms to Achilles tendonitis, the major differentiating factor is that tendonitis is an acute (sudden) injury, where tendinosis is a chronic (over time) injury.
What do people experience?
- Pain behind the heel or lower leg (closer to the ground)
- Aching or burning pain upon raising from rest in the morning
- Swelling or inflammation during acute phase
- Thickening of tendon
- Pain with lifting heels off the ground
- Activities with side-to-side movement or sudden changes in direction
- Poor fitting or worn out footwear
- Uneven terrain
- High impact, volume and intensity of exercise
- Being overweight or obese (increased strain on muscles and tendons)
- Your mechanics
- Poor flexibility
Options for treatment
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – contact family physician before utilizing this method of treatment
- Footwear change
- Stretching and strengthening
- Modified training
- Shockwave therapy
For more information check out our injury locator.
If you have any questions, we are more than happy to help! Contact your SoleScience pedorthist today.