Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the tendon that runs from the calf muscles down to the back of the heel bone.
Achilles tendonitis usually occurs due to overuse and is most commonly reported in athletes—most frequently, runners. It's also common in middle-aged “weekend warriors” who engage in sports.
Achilles tendonitis is most commonly found in individuals aged 30-40, with 90% of these cases occurring during sport/exercise. It’s most frequently brought on by excessive physical training (in particular running or lunging) or by wearing inappropriate footwear while training. The condition usually develops over a course of weeks or months, with pain and stiffness gradually worsening. Without proper treatment, the condition may become chronic.
Repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon.
- Pain and stiffness over the lower leg, just above the back of the heel
- Typically begins as a mild ache that worsens over time
- Jumping, prolonged running, stair climbing, or sprinting may spark severe pain
- Tenderness or stiffness that is usually worse in the morning, and often improves with activity
Your Chiropractor is likely to use a combination of techniques to help your condition
As ‘movement’ specialists, chiropractors are best positioned to evaluate and treat ‘movement’ problems. Mechanically, the bones of the ankle and foot naturally slide and glide during the various phases of running or walking. Improper movement patterns of the foot and ankle can lead to tissue irritation, inflammation, and Achilles tendonitis. Custom orthotics can provide support, stability, and shock absorption from the ground up. Strengthening exercises may be recommended. For severe cases, your doctor may suggest you consider surgery.
- Increase activity level gradually
- Choose shoes carefully, and wear custom orthotics in every pair
- Stretch daily and always before exercise
- Strengthen your calf muscles
Recovery from Achilles tendonitis may take as long as four to six weeks, especially if the pain had become intense before treatment. Responding to Achilles tendinitis early, and fully, can prevent the condition from becoming chronic.