The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles at the back of your lower leg to your heel bone. By definition, Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon. This inflammation is usually caused by an overuse injury. It is most often seen in runners following an increase in the intensity or duration of their runs. It is also common in sports involving quick, explosive motions (cutting and jumping) such as tennis and basketball.
1. Pain of varying intensity along the Achilles tendon, at the back of the heel, and possibly up into the calf muscles themselves with and after activity.
2. Inflammation along the tendon itself.
3. Stiffness after prolonged periods of immobility.
An acute case of Achilles tendonitis generally responds to simple treatment. General rest, avoiding aggravating factors, ice, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, and gentle stretching should reduce symptoms.
In more severe or persistent cases, physical therapy can help speed the healing process. At Evolve Physical Therapy + Advanced Wellness, your physical therapist will design an individual program for you detailing specific stretches and strengthening exercises to promote tissue healing, strengthening of the Achilles tendon and supporting structures, and improved foot/body mechanics. In some cases, orthotics may be useful to help improve body mechanics and to remove stress from the tendon.
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