Achilles tendonitis is a medical condition that refers to the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles. The Achilles tendon is one of the largest tendons in the human body, and it is responsible for enabling us to walk, run, jump, and perform other physical activities that involve the lower limbs.
Achilles tendonitis usually develops as a result of overuse or repetitive strain on the tendon. It is a common injury among athletes, particularly those who engage in activities that involve running or jumping. Other risk factors for Achilles tendonitis include age, obesity, poor footwear, and certain medical conditions, such as flat feet or arthritis.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis typically include pain and stiffness in the back of the ankle, especially after physical activity or prolonged periods of standing or walking. Swelling and tenderness in the affected area may also be present. In severe cases, the tendon may become partially or completely torn, resulting in significant pain and disability.
Treatment for Achilles tendonitis typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and medication. The affected leg may be immobilized with a brace or cast to allow the tendon to heal. Physical therapy may include exercises to strengthen the calf muscles and improve flexibility. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged tendon. However, surgery is usually considered a last resort, and most cases of Achilles tendonitis can be successfully treated with conservative measures. With proper treatment, most people with Achilles tendonitis can fully recover and return to their normal activities within a few weeks to a few months.