You?re a prime candidate for
acquiring Achilles Tendonitis if you?re a runner or some other kind of athlete requiring heavy use of your calves and their attached tendons. Then again, -anybody- can get tendonitis of the Achilles
tendons. All for very predictable reasons. Perhaps you have Achilles Tendon pain from cycling. Or standing at work. Or walking around a lot. Anything we do on our feet uses our lower leg structures,
and the Achilles tendon bears LOTS of torque, force, load, etc. The physical dynamic called Tendonitis can show up anywhere. On the Achilles Tendon is as good a place as any. Repetitive strain injury
can show up anywhere in the body that there is repetitive strain. It's an obvious statement, but worth paying attention to.
Excessive exercise is a common cause of Achilles tendonitis. This is particularly true for athletes. However, factors unrelated to exercise may also contribute to risk. Rheumatoid arthritis and
infection are both correlated with tendonitis. In general, any repeated activity that strains the Achilles tendon can contribute to this problem. Here are a few possible causes, jumping into an
exercise routine without a proper warm-up, straining calf muscles during repeated exercise or physical activity, playing sports such as tennis that require quick stops and changes of direction,
wearing old or ill-fitting shoes, wearing high heels every day.
Achilles tendonitis typically starts off as a dull stiffness in the tendon, which gradually goes away as the area gets warmed up. It may get worse with faster running, uphill running, or when wearing
spikes and other low-heeled running shoes. If you continue to train on it, the tendon will hurt more sharply and more often, eventually impeding your ability even to jog lightly. About two-thirds of
Achilles tendonitis cases occur at the ?midpoint? of the tendon, a few inches above the heel. The rest are mostly cases of ?insertional? Achilles tendonitis, which occurs within an inch or so of the
heelbone. Insertional Achilles tendonitis tends to be more difficult to get rid of, often because the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac right behind the tendon, can become irritated as well.
There is enlargement and warmth of the tendon 1 to 4 inches above its heel insertion. Pain and sometimes a scratching feeling may be created by gently squeezing the tendon between the thumb and
forefinger during ankle motion. There may be weakness in push-off strength with walking. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can define the extent of degeneration, the degree to which the tendon sheath
is involved and the presence of other problems in this area, but the diagnosis is mostly clinical.
There are a variety of treatments for Achilles tendonitis. These range from rest and aspirin to steroid injections and surgery. Your doctor might suggest, reducing your physical activity, stretching
and strengthening the calf muscles, switching to a different, less strenuous sport, icing the area after exercise or when in pain, raising your foot to decrease swelling, wearing a brace or
compressive elastic bandage to prevent heel movement, undergoing physical therapy, taking anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen) for a limited time, getting steroid injections,
Sometimes more conservative treatments are not effective. In these cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the Achilles tendon. If the condition intensifies and is left untreated, there?s a greater
risk of an Achilles rupture. This can cause sharp pain in the heel area.
When the tendon tears or ruptures the variety of surgical techniques are available to repair the damage and restore the tendons function. Recent research that is done at Emory University Department
of orthopedics have perfected the repair of the Achilles tendon. The procedure is generally involves making an incision in the back of your leg and stitching the torn tendon together using a
technique developed and tested by Dr. Labib. Depending on the condition of the torn tissue the repair may be reinforced with other tendons.
Stay in good shape year-round and try to keep your muscles as strong as they can be. Strong, flexible muscles work more efficiently and put less stress on your tendon. Increase the intensity and
length of your exercise sessions gradually. This is especially important if you've been inactive for a while or you're new to a sport. Always warm up before you go for a run or play a sport. If your
muscles are tight, your Achilles tendons have to work harder to compensate. Stretch it out. Stretch your legs, especially your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and thigh muscles - these muscles help
stabilize your knee while running. Get shoes that fit properly and are designed for your sport. If you're a jogger, go to a running specialty store and have a trained professional help you select
shoes that match your foot type and offer plenty of support. Replace your shoes before they become worn out. Try to run on softer surfaces like grass, dirt trails, or synthetic tracks. Hard surfaces
like concrete or asphalt can put extra pressure on the joints. Also avoid running up or down hills as much as possible. Vary your exercise routine. Work different muscle groups to keep yourself in
good overall shape and keep individual muscles from getting overused. If you notice any symptoms of Achilles tendonitis, stop running or doing activities that put stress on your feet. Wait until all
the pain is gone or you have been cleared to start participating again by a doctor.