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Thursday
Jan252018

Achilles Tendonitis

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles Tendonitis is an overuse injury that is common especially to joggers and jumpers, due to the repetitive action of these activities.

Most tendon injuries are the result of gradual wear and tear to the tendon from overuse or ageing. Anyone can have a tendon injury, but people who make the same motions over and over in their jobs, sports, or daily activities are more likely to damage a tendon.

A tendon injury can happen suddenly or little by little. You are more likely to have a sudden injury if the tendon has been weakened over time.

Common Causes of Achilles Tendonitis include:

  • Over-training or unaccustomed use – “too much too soon”
  • Flat (over-pronated) feet
  • High foot arch with tight Achilles tendon
  • Tight hamstring (back of thigh) and calf muscles
  • Toe walking (or constantly wearing high heels)
  • Poorly supportive footwear
  • Hill running.

What are the Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis may be felt as a burning pain at the beginning of activity, which gets less during activity and then worsens following activity. The tendon may feel stiff first thing in the morning or at the beginning of exercise.

  • Achilles tendonitis usually causes pain, stiffness, and loss of strength in the affected area.
  • The pain may get worse when you use your Achilles tendon.
  • You may have more pain and stiffness during the night or when you get up in the morning.
  • The area may be tender, red, warm, or swollen if there is inflammation.
  • You may notice a crunchy sound or feeling when you use the tendon.

How is Achilles Tendonitis Diagnosed?

Your practitioner can usually confirm the diagnosis of Achilles tendonitis in the clinic. They will base their diagnosis on your history, examination and clinical tests.

Achilles tendons will often have a painful and prominent lump within the tendon.

Further investigations include US scan or MRI.  X-rays are of little use in the diagnosis.