What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis refers to pain and inflammation in the tendon just above the back of the heel. Achilles tendonitis is considered an overuse injury. It is most common in athletes, and those who place repeated stress on the Achilles tendon. This frequently occurs with prolonged running, walking, and jumping maneuvers.
Because this area of the body does not have a good blood supply, Achilles tendonitis can persist for long periods of time. In an attempt to repair the small “micro tears” that have occurred in the Achilles tendon, the body creates new blood vessels and small nerve branches in the injured area. These new blood vessels and nerves are thought to be the source of pain.
Treatment for Achilles tendonitis is aimed at relieving pain while also strengthening and supporting the Achilles tendon, ankle, and lower leg muscles. Rest, ice, and compression are critical components of care. Many patients with Achilles tendonitis find great improvement and relief from symptoms with a combination of moderate compression, supportive elastic bandages, and heel pads. In addition, manual therapies may help bring relief to the strained Achilles tendon itself, as well as address tensions in the foot, ankle, and calf that may be contributing to the problem. Specific targeted exercises can stabilize and strengthen the Achilles tendon, allowing it to be more resilient with future activity.
If you are suffering from heel pain due to Achilles tendonitis or any other reason, contact ActiveCare Physical Therapy today.