What is Achilles tendinitis?
Any time you see “itis” at the end of a word, it means there’s inflammation involved, so Achilles tendinitis is acute inflammation of the tendon that runs along the back of the ankle. Runners, jumpers and skiers are the common victims. Because the lower legs are so far away from your heart, there’s very little blood flow to the area, which means unfortunately that the healing process for an injury such as Achilles tendinitis is often slow.
Achilles tendinitis manifests as pain just above the heel at the Achilles tendon—the thick band of tissue that attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. Runners who suffer from Achilles tendinitis will often complain of swelling and pain close to the heel which can be incapacitating.
- Pain and stiffness around the achilles tendon
- Severe pain in the area after exercising
- Tightening or thickening of the tendon
Sometimes tight calves are the culprit. Tight lower legs put a lot of strain on the Achilles tendon, and over the course of many months of hard training, this overuse injury can develop. Aside from tight calves, unsupportive footwear can overburden the Achilles tendon over time, or a quick increase in volume and/or intensity can have the same effect but quickly, so it’s important to pay attention to both your feet and your training.
Resting, cold therapy – reduce the inflammation, and stretching will all help to relieve symptoms. Aids such as orthotics and and highly structured shoes are short-term solutions. Long term, it’s worth your while to pay close attention to stretching and strengthening the lower legs. Calf raises, single-leg dead-lifts, single-leg squats, and box jumps are great lower-leg-strengthening exercises. Also, heed what’s on your feet; your shoe choices can definitely help or aggravate the situation. And finally, keep an eye on your training. Don’t do too much, or go too hard, too quickly.
Fortunately, the Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. As long as you’re careful while you ramp up your training, you should be able to keep it healthy and strong. Often Achilles tendinitis manifests first as stiffness in the joint that eventually warms up. If, when you first notice the stiffness, you take preventive measures to increase ankle flexibility and pull back on your mileage, speed-work and hill running, then you can avoid it turning into a serious problem.
Apply a Physicool A Bandage for thirty minutes to one hour, 2-4 times per day. After training and evenings are important times. Especially evenings due to the weight that your foot has carried throughout the day, but a lunchtime treatment will definitely help. This will speed up recovery time and get you back to feeling yourself in no time. The cooling benefit will reduce pain and swelling whilst the compression will limit inflammation. Combined, Physicool will help speed up healing and get you back to what you love doing faster.