We use our feet and ankles in so many varieties of ways each and every day of our lives. We walk, run, jump, climb up and down stairs, and even while driving when using the gas and brake pedals. No wonder so many people complain of foot and ankle pain, soreness, stiffness, and swelling. We use and abuse our feet and ankles each and every day. One of the most common issues of the constant overuse of our feet and ankles that may develop is Achilles Tendonitis, especially among those who are regularly active.
Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It is located on the back of your lower legs and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is quite strong and assists in raising the heel off the ground when walking, running, or jumping. However, due to frequent overuse of repetitive motions or an increase in intensity of activity levels, the tendon can become too stressed and result in inflammation and pain in the heel and ankle region. This constant pressure on the Achilles tendon and the repetitive motions used is a reason why many athletes will develop Achilles Tendonitis.
Some common causes of Achilles Tendonitis are:
If you think you may have Achilles Tendonitis, you should make an appointment with you doctor to assess and exam your ankle to rule out any health related inflammatory issues, arthritis, bone spurs, or possible sprains or strains. Some common symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis can overlap with any of these other possible causes. If you begin to experience any of the following, go get checked out by a doctor first:
If you have developed Achilles Tendonitis there are some easy home care options you can do to help with the recovery process.
Achilles Tendonitis can be painful and uncomfortable, and let’s be honest; the swelling is never fun or attractive. Also, because it is a tendon that has experienced strain, tears, and has been over stressed, it may take several months to fully heal. Even after you have healed the tendon, it is likely to reoccur again in the future if you do not take precautions to prevent another flare up.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.