Tendonitis (or tendinitis) is an irritation and inflammation of the tendons, the strong, fibrous bands that connect muscles to bones. In the foot, one of the primary tendons is the Achilles tendon, which stretches from the calf muscles to the back of the heel. The Achille's tendon is the largest tendon in the body, promoting movement and stability when walking, running, standing and jumping. Although the tendon is amazingly strong and resilient, it can become inflamed and irritated as a result of:
There are two primary types of Achilles tendonitis:
Non-insertional tendonitis tends to occur primarily in younger, active people while insertional tendonitis can affect anyone, including those who are sedentary.
Achilles tendonitis causes pain in the heel and the back of the leg which can sometimes extend into the midfoot region during movement. Sometimes, pain is accompanied by localized swelling or tenderness. As the tendon becomes inflamed and swollen, it can rub against the protective sheath of tissues that surrounds it, causing “sticking” or rubbing sensations called crepitus.
Often, Achilles tendonitis can be treated with a conservative approach including:
Less commonly, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon, lengthen abnormally short calf muscles, or remove heel spurs.
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