The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to your calcaneus (heel bone) and is used when you walk, run, and jump.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump. Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great stresses from running and jumping, it is also prone to tendinitis, a condition associated with over use and degeneration.
Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon and is typically not related to a specific injury. The problem results from repetitive stress to the tendon, often from when we push our bodies to do too much, too soon. Other factors can make it more likely to develop tendinitis, including:
- Sudden increase in the amount or intensity or exercise activity
- Tight calf muscles
- Bone spur
In most cases, nonsurgical treatment options will provide pain relief, although it may take a few months for the symptoms to completely subside. Even with early treatment, the pain may last longer than 3 months. If you have had pain for several months before seeking treatment, it may take 6 months before treatment methods take effect.
Surgery should be considered to relieve Achilles tendinitis only if the pain does not improve after 6 months of nonsurgical treatment or if the Achilles tendon reptures. The specific type of surgery depends on the location of the tendinitis and the amount of damage to the tendon.
For more information on symptoms and specific treatment options, visit OrthoInfo.AAOS.org
Adapted from AAOS OrthoInfo