The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. Inflammation of the outer layers of the tendon is the most common cause of Achilles tendinitis. This is a common sports injury.
Symptoms usually start gradually with pain in the morning and pain during activities. Pain is worse with jumping or pushing. The pain is localized in the back of the ankle 1-3 inches above its heel insertion or at the insertion of the tendon. The Achilles tendon stretches from your heel to your calf muscles and can become inflammed and painful when under too much stress. Inflammation of the tendon can cause swelling. Bone spurs can develop at the insertion of the tendon to the heel (calcaneus). Bone spurs, depending on their size, can cause shoe irritation with the heel counter.
Achilles tendonosis develops after prolonged inflammation within the tendon and the microscopic tearing causing degeneration. Patients with Achilles tendonosis are at higher risk of Achilles rupture.
What causes Achilles Tendinitis?
Pain frequently starts after an increase in physical activity like jumping, basketball, or running workouts. It can be associated with repetitive activities, flat feet, high arch, footwear or training issues. If you have experienced tenderness in the Achilles before, a flare up can occur with a increase in the duration or intensity of your training or exercise.
How is Achilles Tendinitis diagnosed?
A thorough physical exam with the location of pain is used to diagnose Achilles tendinitis. X-rays can be performed if a bone spur is suspected. At times, a MRI can be necessary to view the extent of degeneration.