By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 24, 2016

The Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone, is the strongest tendon in your whole body. It can withstand forces of over 1,000 pounds. It is also very susceptible to injury and inflammation and often causes athletes—both professional and amateur—to sit out many a game.

What Does it Feel Like?

In most patients we see at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with Achilles tendonitis it starts gradually with some minor aches and pains in the tendon area a few hours after exercise. Over time, the pain gets worse and may occur while you are exercising as well. Other symptoms include swelling in the calf area, a little tenderness above the back of your heel first thing in the morning, stiffness and just an overall tired feeling in your calf and lower leg area.

What Causes It?

There are several factors that can bring on Achilles tendonitis, including:

  • Starting an exercise or sport too rapidly after a time off from activity
  • Excessive hill running or stair climbing
  • Not stretching or warming up adequately before exercising
  • Increasing the mileage or speed of your walking or running routine too quickly
  • Tight calf muscles
  • An injury caused by a sudden intense pushing off movement that involves the calf such as a sprint
  • Overpronation (feet roll inward)
  • The wrong footwear or improperly fitted footwear

What Can Be Done?

Once our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah have diagnosed Achilles tendonitis, there are several treatment options available depending on what’s causing the problem. Mostly likely, the foot doctor will ask you to rest the foot for a period of time and possibly to switch to activities that do not put strain on the tendon. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended to relieve pain and inflammation. To protect the tendon in the future, the podiatrist may recommend a bandage to limit the motion of the tendon, orthotics to relieve pressure on the area and exercises to stretch the tendon and make injury less likely.

If you believe you may be suffering from Achilles tendonitis, contact our Edison, Monroe, or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment.