Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is irritation of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the tendon which attaches the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (the calf muscles) to the heel. These are the muscles that allow you to stand on your toes and help you to push off the ground as you take a step forward.

Contributing factors are:

  • Doing too much activity too soon
  • Having tight or weak calf muscles
  • Wearing high heels
  • Over pronation of the foot
  • Doing a lot of hill training
  • Change of training surfaces

The Achilles tendon has low blood supply, so when it becomes injured it can be slow to heal. The body will begin the production of scar tissue to repair the tissue that has been worn away, which is needed, but the build up of scar tissue does not lay in the same alignment as the tendon and this can decrease range of motion and cause pain. This extra scar tissue must be removed so that the tendon can slide the way it should.

Management includes eccentric strengthening of the calf, regaining flexibility in musculature and altering foot bio-mechanics and training.

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