Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation and/or degeneration of the Achilles tendon. This is the large tendon located in the back of the leg that inserts into the calcaneous or heel bone. Pain from this condition can develop gradually without a history of trauma. Achilles tendonitis is usually described as a shooting, burning, or extremely piercing pain. Any pain in this area should not be ignored as it may lead to weakening of the tendon. Once the tendon weakens, rupture is possible.
Achilles tendonitis is caused by:
- Long periods of rigorous training
- Inadequate stretching prior to athletic activity
- A shortened Achilles tendon due to high-heel usage, heel bone deformities, and direct injury or trauma
Treatment and Prevention
Achilles tendonitis can be avoided by:
- Stretching daily, especially before physical activity
- Applying ice to the area if it becomes inflammed
- Not climbing up hills or stairs until the inflammation subsides
The use of a custom-fitted ezWalker® orthotic will provide proper support of the foot in order to reduce stress and strain on the Achilles tendon. Additionally, proactive use of ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics can protect against injury by providing foot stability and balance, and aiding a proper biomechanical step. HTP heel seats are also recommended to reduce the stress of Achilles tendonitis. These heel seats slightly raise the heel, offering support while protecting against shock during heel strike.
Make sure you are fitting your shoes properly. Have your shoe fit checked regularly. Remember, the size on the measuring device is only a reference. Mass-manufactured shoes are NOT all created equal. Refer to the Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for proper guidelines on how to best fit your shoes.
If you follow these guidelines and your pain persists, you must seek the counsel of a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.