Achilles Tendon

What Causes Achillies Tendonitis?

The Achilles tendon, located on the leg, attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis is a repetitive strain (overuse) injury involving lower leg muscles and tendons at the point where they attach to the bone, resulting in pain at the back of the ankle. Chronic overuse can lead to small tears within the tendon causing long-term weakening, making the tendon susceptible to rupture, which could result in a need for surgery.

Lack of flexibility and overpronation are two of the most common causes of chronic Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis may be caused by a single incident of overstressing the tendon, or it may result from a series of stresses that produce small tears over time (overuse).

Other risk factors and causes include:
  • Poor conditioning
  • Overuse
  • Stressful surfaces
  • High-heels
How can Achilles tendonitis be prevented or treated? 

As with all injuries, prevention is your best defense especially with injuries that are as painful and inconvenient as Achilles tendonitis. Prevention options include:

1) Stetching. Stretching properly, starting slowly, and increasing gradually will be critical if you want to avoid Achilles tendonitis. To help maintain flexibility in the ankle joint, begin each day with a series of stretches and be certain to stretch prior to, and after, any exercise or excessive physical activity.
2) Orthotics and heel support. Bio-mechanically engineered inserts and heel cups which can be placed in your shoes to correct mis-alignments, or to bolster the support of your foot are available without a prescription. The temporary heel padding that these provide reduces the length that the Achilles tendon stretches each time you step, making it more comfortable to go about your daily routine.
3) Proper Footwear. Low-heeled shoes with good arch support and shock absorption are best for the health of your foot. Look into heel wedges and other shoe inserts to make sure that your everyday foot mechanics are operating under ideal conditions.

Treatment options for Achilles tendonitis are focused on relieving suffering and promoting healing. If high heels are worn everyday, stretching should be done every morning and night to keep the Achilles tendon lengthened.
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ProStretch Plus
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