The Achilles tendon is the large tendon in the back of the ankle that connects
the calf muscles to the heel bone. These muscles are essential for walking,
running and jumping. The Achilles tendon withstands a great deal of stress
during normal daily life. Achilles tendonitis occurs when the muscles and
tendon are overused, causing irritation and inflammation of the tendon.
There are 2 types of Achilles tendonitis:
Insertional Achilles tendonitis
, which affects the lower portion where the tendon attaches
to the heel. This can occur at any age
Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis
, which affects the middle part of the tendon and there is swelling
and thickening in this area. This is most common among young active people
Hardening (calcification) of the damaged tendon fibres can occur in both types
of Achilles tendonitis.
Achilles tendonitis is often caused by continuous stress on the affected area,
usually from repetitive movements during sports or recreational activities
such as running, jumping, or even from a sudden change in intensity of an
activity. Poor stretching or conditioning before exercise or playing sports
also increases the risk. Other conditions such as
tendonitis may also irritate the Achilles tendon.
Common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain or swelling at the back of
the heel, inability to bend the ankle, discomfort when walking, swelling
of the calf, joint deformity, pain in the ankle area, as well as signs of
infection such as fever, redness, or warmth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist.
Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle
needs. Find out more about the
treatment options and
sports rehabilitation services available.