Self-care strategies include the following steps, often known by the acronym R.I.C.E.: Rest. You may need to avoid exercise for several days or switch to an activity that doesn't strain the Achilles tendon, such as swimming. In severe cases, you may need to wear a walking boot and use crutches. Ice. To decrease pain or swelling, apply an ice pack to the tendon for about 15 minutes after exercising or when you experience pain. Compression. Wraps or compressive elastic bandages can help reduce swelling and reduce movement of the tendon. Elevation. Raise the affected foot above the level of your heart to reduce swelling. Sleep with your affected foot elevated at night. Treatments and drugsPreventionShareTweet
Achilles tendinitis is caused by repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. This tendon is used when you walk, run, jump or push up on your toes. The structure of the Achilles tendon weakens with age, which can make it more susceptible to injury — particularly in people who may participate in sports only on the weekends or who have suddenly increased the intensity of their running programs.SymptomsRisk factorsShareTweet
Achilles tendinitis can weaken the tendon, making it more vulnerable to a tear (rupture) — a painful injury that usually requires surgical repair.Risk factorsPreparing for your appointmentShareTweet
We take the time to listen, to find answers and to provide you the best care. During the physical exam, your doctor will gently press on the affected area to determine the location of pain, tenderness or swelling. He or she will also evaluate the flexibility, alignment, range of motion and reflexes of your foot and ankle.Your doctor may order one or more of the following tests to assess your condition: X-rays. While X-rays can't visualize soft tissues such as tendons, they may help rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Ultrasound. This device uses sound waves to visualize soft tissues like tendons. Ultrasound can also produce real-time images of the Achilles tendon in motion, and color-Doppler ultrasound can evaluate blood flow around the tendon. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using radio waves and a very strong magnet, MRI machines can produce very detailed images of the Achilles tendon. Preparing for your appointment Treatments and drugs.
A number of factors may increase your risk of Achilles tendinitis, including: Your sex. Achilles tendinitis occurs most commonly in men. Age. Achilles tendinitis is more common as you age. Physical problems. A naturally flat arch in your foot can put more strain on the Achilles tendon. Obesity and tight calf muscles also can increase tendon strain. Training choices. Running in worn-out shoes can increase your risk of Achilles tendinitis. Tendon pain occurs more frequently in cold weather than in warm weather, and running on hilly terrain also can predispose you to Achilles injury. Medical conditions. People who have psoriasis or high blood pressure are at higher risk of developing Achilles tendinitis. Medications. Certain types of antibiotics, called fluoroquinolones, have been associated with higher rates of Achilles tendinitis. CausesComplicationsShareTweet
At Mayo Clinic, we take the time to listen, to find answers and to provide you the best care.Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles (uh-KILL-eez) tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.Achilles tendinitis most commonly occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It's also common in middle-aged people who play sports, such as tennis or basketball, only on the weekends.Most cases of Achilles tendinitis can be treated with relatively simple, at-home care under your doctor's supervision. Self-care strategies are usually necessary to prevent recurring episodes. More-serious cases of Achilles tendinitis can lead to tendon tears (ruptures) that may require surgical repair.SymptomsShareTweet
Achilles tendinitisThe pain associated with Achilles tendinitis typically begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activity. Episodes of more-severe pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing or sprinting.You might also experience tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning, which usually improves with mild activity.If you experience persistent pain around the Achilles tendon, call your doctor. Seek immediate medical attention if the pain or disability is severe. You may have a torn (ruptured) Achilles tendon.DefinitionCausesShareTweet
You'll likely first bring your symptoms to the attention of your family doctor. He or she might refer you to a doctor specializing in sports medicine or physical and rehabilitative medicine (physiatrist). If your Achilles tendon has ruptured, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon.Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions: Did the pain begin suddenly or gradually? Are symptoms worse at certain times of day or after certain activities? What types of shoes do you wear during exercise? What medications and supplements do you take regularly? Be prepared to answer the following questions regarding your symptoms and factors that may be contributing to your condition: Where exactly does it hurt? Does the pain lessen with rest? What is your normal exercise routine? Have you recently made changes to your exercise routine, or have you recently started participating in a new sport? What have you done for pain relief? ComplicationsTests and diagnosisShareTweet