- Trusted by the NHS, Doctors and Clinicians
- Over 1 Million Braces Sold Worldwide
- Free Standard Delivery on all UK orders
- Free Returns on all Orders
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel. It is the largest tendon in the body and can withstand large forces. However due to the amount of activity encountered by the tendon it is one of the most common ankle injuries resulting from overuse injuries. The low blood supply to the tendon also means that recovery can be slow.
Achilles Paratendinopathy is the inflammation or damage of the membrane surrounding the Achilles tendon. This can be a chronic condition, caused by overuse, and will be painful during exercise but not necessarily at times of rest. Alternatively the injury can be caused instantly if too much strain is placed on the tendon. This will cause pain and swelling at the point of the damage. This condition will often be referred to as Achilles tendinitis.
Achilles Tendinopathy is damage to the fibres of the tendon. Again this is often referred to as Achilles tendonitis. Ankle injuries of this nature are usually caused from long term stress to the tendon, the damage may be increased if there is a sudden rise in activity, or the person has tight calf muscles; placing more stress on the Achilles. The damage can occur in the middle portion of the tendon, usually in younger, more active people. Injury can also occur where the tendon connects with the heel, this can occur at any time whether the patient is active or not. Additional bone growth at the heel (bone spurs) can rub and damage the tendon.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain along the Achilles, pain during and/or following exercise, thickening of the tendon and swelling which increases during activity.
When pain occurs in the tendon it is important to rest, either completely or by switching to low impact exercise such as swimming or cycling. This will give the tendon chance to heal and stop any further fibre damage. Using ice on the tendon should help with pain and inflammation. As will anti-inflammatory medication, although this will not reduce the thickening of the tendon which is caused by damage.
Physiotherapists will be able to inform people with Achilles pain on how to carry out simple stretches and strengthening exercises which should ease the stress on the tendon. Shoe inserts can help to lift the heel and relieve some of the strain placed on the tendon. A walker boot may also be prescribed to rest the tendon if severe pain is being suffered or an ankle support worn during recovery for added stability and protection.