What is Achilles Tendonitis? To understand that better, the Achilles tendon helps to attach the calf muscles to the heel. This tendon functions by allowing the plantar flexion of the feet such as pushing off during running or going on tip toes. With such strong capability requirements, the tendon can become inflamed following repetitive stress. It can also be inflamed due to medical conditions such as gout. Achilles Tendonitis injury is often heard of occurring amongst sportsmen especially runners or gymnasts due to the nature of such sports requiring repetitive strain and use of this Achilles tendon.
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis? Swollen tendon associated with warmth and tenderness would be one tell-tale sign of the onset of Achilles tendonitis. Other symptoms which one should look out for include pain which worsens upon the ankle bending upwards or dorsiflexion. If you are unable to stand on tiptoe, this is another symptom associated with tightness of the Achilles tendon called “toe-tough” gait.
When you have Achilles tendonitis, you should rest the affected ankle in an elevated position and give an ice compress to help ease the inflammation. Stay away from weight bearing for a couple of days or weeks so that your Achilles tendon can rest fully. Use crutches to aid your walking to relieve stress on the affected ankle.
To prevent or reduce the likelihood of having an Achilles tendonitis injury, ensure that you have proper warming-up exercises and stretching prior to engaging in strenuous exercise or sports. Use the push wall method for best effect as it gives the Achilles tendon a good stretch. When you start your serious exercises, gradually increase your intensity rather than a full session, if you have not been exercising for a prolonged period of time. Finally, ensure that you have adequate period of recovery and rest between your exercise or sports session so that the tissue would have sufficient time to repair.