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Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation on the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to your heel bone. Achilles tendonitis commonly occurs among runners and middle-age people who does sports only on weekends.

Causes

Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that is usually due to a sudden increased in intensity or duration of a physical activity (e.g. running, basketball or football). In addition, the structure of the tendon weakens with age which can make it more vulnerable to injuries.

Symptoms

  • Mild pains slightly above your heel after running or activities that requires running.
  • More intensified pain may be experienced after prolonged activities.
  • Tenderness and stiffness may be experienced especially in the morning, which usually improves with walking.

Treatment

Achilles tendonitis responds well to conservative treatments unless the pain is persistent or has ruptured. In which case, doctors might suggest other more intrusive treatments.

For conservative treatments, you may consider over-the-counter pain medications – such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen. More importantly, shoe insoles or wedges should be worn immediately to elevate the heels and provides cushion to relieve strain and lessens the impact on the Achilles tendon. Some exercises such as stretching and strengthening can also shorten the recovery period.

If several months of conservative treatments don’t work or tendon has ruptured, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Prevention

There are many ways to prevent Achilles tendonitis. Some simple ways are to increase your physical activities level gradually and avoid long periods of resting. While maintaining regular physical activities is recommended, it is important to also include some stretching and strengthening regularly to prepare and condition your muscles and tendons. Most importantly, the shoes that you wear shoe provide cushion for the heels and insoles for firm arch support to reduce tension on the Achilles tendon.

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