Achilles Tendonitis

Conquer Achilles Tendonitis

About Achilles Tendonitis

ain as a result of Achilles Tendonitis is found in the back of the leg/ankle along the tendon that joins the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone (calcaneus). This tendon provides the power necessary to propel the foot forward into the next step. This is usually an over use condition most commonly the site of the pain is in the mid-point of the tendon )approximately 4cm above the heal), however it can affect the area where the tendon attaches on to the heel bone. This can become a lingering issue due to the little blood supply to the back of the heel and there for injuries to this area can take a long time to heal.

Key points

  1. Causes: Achilles tendonitis is primarily caused by excessive or repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon. Common contributing factors include overtraining or sudden increases in physical activity, improper footwear, tight calf muscles, poor biomechanics, and a lack of proper warm-up or stretching before exercise.

  2. Symptoms: The most common symptom of Achilles tendonitis is pain, which can range from mild to severe. The pain is typically felt along the back of the heel and may extend upward into the calf. It is often worse during physical activity, especially running or walking, and may improve with rest. In some cases, there may be swelling and tenderness around the affected area.

  3. Types: There are two main types of Achilles tendonitis:

    • Noninsertional Achilles Tendonitis: This type involves fibers in the middle portion of the tendon that begin to break down with tiny tears. It’s often seen in younger, active individuals.

    • Insertional Achilles Tendonitis: This type occurs at the point where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. It can affect both younger and older individuals and is often associated with the development of bone spurs in the heel.

  4. Diagnosis: A healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, orthopedic specialist, skilled foot care specialist, MD, and a family doctor can diagnose Achilles tendonitis through a physical examination, a review of the patient’s medical history, and sometimes imaging studies like X-rays or ultrasound to assess the extent of tendon damage.

  5. Treatment: Treatment for Achilles tendonitis typically involves a combination of conservative measures, including:

    • Rest: Reducing or modifying activities that worsen the condition to allow the tendon to heal.

    • Ice: Applying ice to the affected area to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

    • Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to manage pain and reduce inflammation.

    • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can develop a rehabilitation program that includes stretching and strengthening exercises to improve tendon function and flexibility.

    • Orthotics: Custom or over-the-counter shoe inserts may help provide better support and reduce stress on the Achilles tendon.

    • Heel Lifts: These can reduce tension on the tendon by slightly elevating the heel.

    • Strapping or Bracing: Taping or using a brace may help support the tendon during activities.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential to prevent chronic Achilles tendon problems and potential complications, such as Achilles tendon tears. Individuals experiencing symptoms of Achilles tendonitis should seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.


Both Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis are overuse syndromes and can be treated by custom-made foot orthotics and orthopedic footwear which gives good support and motion control to the foot and ankles. Custom foot orthotics have been medically proven to help with foot pain such as Achilles Tendonitis, and at Gait Maxx Foot Care, we have treated hundreds of our patients with custom foot orthotics and orthopedic footwear. Make an appointment with our foot professionals for a no-obligation, free consultation to find out if you need foot orthotics or orthopedic footwear to treat your foot pain.

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