The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, connecting your calf muscles to your heel. You use it when you walk, run, and jump. Repetitive stress on the tendon results in eventual inflammation and is categorized by location of injury; non-insertional, where the tendon is injured above the attachment at the heel, and insertional, where the tendon inserts into the heel bone called the calcaneus. Left untreated, over time, the Achilles tendon will begin to deteriorate, and may calcify (harden) into a large bump. Bone spurs (extra bone growth) can also form in response to the chronic Achilles irritation. The real kicker is that Achilles tendinitis can occur at any time, even in patients who are not active.
Usually, Achilles tendinitis occurs in with a sudden increase in the amount or intensity of exercise activity, but having tight calf muscles is always the precipitating factor in the initial Achilles injury. The most common symptoms include pain and stiffness along the Achilles in the morning, pain that worsens during or after activity, and swelling or thickening of the tendon.
Achilles Tendinitis Treatment Options
There are a number of different ways to treat this condition, but before you consider surgical intervention, let us apply our myriad of techniques to alleviate the problem. In most cases, reducing tension in the calf using myofascial release techniques and strengthening of the dynamic ankle stabilizers is a very effective solution and can, in most cases, completely eliminate the symptoms.