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Achilles Tendonitis

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Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis refers to an overuse of one's band of tissue connecting calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to a person's heel bone, called the Achilles tendon. This condition is mostly common in runners who have abruptly increased the duration of their runs and in middle-aged people involved in sports like basketball and tennis only on weekends. It is noted that Achilles cases are commonly treated with comparatively simple home care solutions under the supervision of a qualified general practitioner.

Signs and symptoms

The acute pain that accompanies Achilles tendonitis begins as mild pain at the rear part of the leg or at the top of the heel after running. When athletic running or physical activity is prolonged, the episodes of more severe pain may occur. Another symptom of Achilles tendonitis is the experience of tenderness or stiffness in the morning which improves with gentle activity. Victims should therefore seek immediate medical attention in case the pain becomes unbearable as he or she might be having a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Causes

Achilles tendinitis is caused by recurring and strong sprain on the Achilles tendon used in walking, running, jumping or pushing up on a person's toes. This Achilles tendon weakens as a person becomes aged and this makes it more prone to injury especially in individuals who participate in sports only during weekends and those who have suddenly raised the concentration of their sports activity.

Risk factors

Several factors may augment a person's risk of Achilles tendinitis including one's sex and age. This is especially common in middle-aged men and adolescents. Other physical problems such as obesity and tight calf can possibly increase tendon strain or training choices such as running in worn out shoes puts more strain in Achilles tendon, medical conditions like diabetic people or those with high blood pressure and certain types of antibiotics have been associated with greater rates of Achilles tendinitis.

Complications

Achilles tendonitis manifests itself through various complications which may be long-term and may inhibit the victim from the performance of his or her normal daily chores due to the accompanying pain. Achilles tendinitis may weaken the ligament and make it more exposed to a rupture which is excruciating injury that often requires surgery.

Treatment

Achilles tendinitis usually becomes better with self-care measures but if the signs and symptoms of the condition become severe, other treatment options may be recommended by a general practitioner. Treatment options that a physical therapist may suggest include orthotic devices for instance, relieving strain on the tendon through insertion of a shoe or wedge that insignificantly raises the heel and specific stretching and strengthening exercises to enable one to improve his healing process.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Home remedies to Achilles tendonitis consist of steps commonly known by the acronym R.I.C.E. This include Rest by avoiding exercise for some days, applying an Ice pack to the tendon when one experiences pain, Compression through elastic bandages to reduce swelling and limit movement of the tendon and Elevation of the affected area above the level of the heart to reduce swelling.

Prevention

While it may be impossible to put a stop to Achilles tendinitis, one can seize measures to decrease the associated risk by increasing the level of activity gradually, avoiding activities that stresses the tendons such as hill running, choosing the shoes carefully, daily stretching, strengthening of the calf muscles and cross training through alternative high impact activities like jumping, running exchanged with cycling and swimming.

References

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