Achilles tendinitis is an overload injury to the Achilles tendon. Learn more about Achilles tendon soreness and injuries and how to prevent them.
Achilles tendinitis most often occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration when running.
You can treat Achilles tendinitis soreness with simple self-training, which is necessary to prevent recurrent episodes. More severe cases of Achilles tendinitis can lead to tears that may require surgical repair.
The pain associated with Achilles tendinitis usually begins as a mild pain in the back of the leg or over the heel after running or other sports activities. You may also experience soreness or stiffness, especially in the morning, which usually improves with easy exercises.
The Achilles tendon weakens with age. Especially in people who participate sporadically in sports or have suddenly increased the intensity or amount of exercise.
- Sex. Achilles tendinitis is most common in men.
- Age. Injuries are more common as you get older.
- Physical problems. A naturally flat arch under the foot can put more strain on the Achilles tendon.
- Running in worn shoes increases the risk of the Achilles tendon. Running in hilly terrain can also predispose to Achilles injury.
- Medical condition. People with psoriasis or high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing the Achilles tendon.
- Medicines. Some types of antibiotics have been associated with higher rates of Achilles tendinitis.
Although it may not be possible to prevent Achilles tendinitis, you can take measures to reduce the risk:
- Increase the activity level gradually. If you are starting a training regimen, start easy and progressively increase duration and intensity.
- Take it easy.
- Choose your shoes carefully. The shoes you wear when exercising should provide adequate cushioning for the heel.
- Stretch. Stretch your calf muscles before exercise and after exercise. This is especially important to avoid recurrence of Achilles tendinitis.
- Strengthen the calf muscles. Strong calf muscles mean that the calf and Achilles tendon better cope with the stresses they encounter with exercise.
- Exercise alternatively. Replace activities with a higher impact, such as running and jumping, with activities with little loads like cycling and swimming.