The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the muscles of the calf to the heel. Achilles tendonitis is caused by overuse of the tissues of the muscles and tendon. Those at higher risk for Achilles tendonitis are runners engaged in intense training and middle-aged people who participate in sports on occasion. When the tendon is injured or inflamed due to overuse or deformity, it can cause pain. The common signs and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain in the back of your heel or ankle region, stiffness or tenderness to the tendon, weakness, and swelling. If left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can become a chronic problem and lead to degeneration of the tendon, placing those at higher risk for Achilles Tendon rupture.
When you see one of the foot and ankle specialists at Foot and Ankle Center of Iowa, they may take x-rays. They will perform a physical examination of your foot and ankle to evaluate for any deformity, range of motion, strength of the tendon/calf muscles of your foot and ankle. Treatment for Achilles tendonitis can include topical medications, oral anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, stretching exercises, shoe modifications, and orthotics, among other things.