Achilles Tendonitis : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Achilles tendon is a strong, large fibrous cord which connects heel bone and calf muscles of leg present at the back of lower leg. Achilles tendons help in foot movements like rising on toes, downward pointing of foot and pushing off foot while walking.
Achilles Tendonitis is a medical condition that occurs due to irritation, inflammation and swelling of tendons of Achilles. Achilles Tendonitis is also called as tendonitis of the heel in medical terminology.
Causes responsible for occurrence of Achilles Tendonitis
There are many factors such as trauma, overuse, infection and diseases like arthritis that could lead to inflammation of tendon. Overuse is considered as the main common cause behind development of Achilles tendonitis.
Achilles Tendonitis is most common in people undertaking physical activities like regular walking, running, jumping etc.
If the heel is affected by arthritis it can lead to development of Achilles Tendonitis. It happens so, because the excessive bony growth, caused due to arthritis, around the joints may result in tendon becoming painful and inflamed.
Signs and symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
There are various symptoms of development of Achilles Tendonitis. The symptoms depend on the location of affected area. Following are some of the usual symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis.
- Acute pain in heel, specifically while making foot movements like walking or running.
- Swelling of affected area (tendon)
- Feeling of warmth in tendon
Diagnosis of Achilles Tendonitis
If you suspect of suffering from Achilles Tendonitis or experience occurrence of symptoms of the condition you must consult your doctor for diagnosis. Your doctor will advise you to undergo certain investigations like X-Ray or MRI, after conducting your physical examination. Based on the results of the medical investigations your doctor will confirm the diagnosis and recommend you right line of treatment.
Treatment of Achilles Tendonitis
Medication and physical therapy are the most common treatments. The main purpose of medication is to reduce intensity of pain and provide comfort. Usually, anti-inflammatory medications such ibuprofen and aspirin are used for relieving pain in Achilles tendonitis patients. Generally surgery is required only in severe cases of Achilles Tendonitis.
Prevention of Achilles Tendonitis
Prevention is the best cure, treatment may cost you a fortune” is the golden rule applicable to all diseases. Adopting preventive measures such as maintaining flexibility and strength of muscles (with regular physical exercises and nutritious diet) is the best way of treating Achilles Tendonitis. Stretching of muscles prior to activity can be of some help in preventing Achilles tendonitis.
Complications produced by Achilles Tendonitis
Complications may occur in some cases. Tearing of tendon, caused due to abnormally weak and inflamed tendon and continued activity, can lead to development of rupture. When such tearing takes place it can be repaired only surgically.