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Programs / Achilles tendinitis

How to treat inflammation of the Achilles tendon

If sports activity or sudden changes of direction hurt the inside of your hip, you’re very likely suffering from a groin injury. Injurymap’s experts have developed not just a program of exercises but also this essential guide on its causes, most common symptoms and effective exercises to treat your hip and groin pain.

14 days free - to help you get started on your tailored program now and treat Achilles tendon pain. Download Injurymap's training program for free here.

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What is Achilles tendinitis?

Achilles tendinitis is the Latin term for an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Typical symptoms of this condition include irritation in the heel tendon, its surrounding areas and pain emanating from the heel tendon's attachment to the bottom of the heel bone.

The three large leg muscles on the leg combine to form the Achilles tendon, attaching to the heel bone. The function of these muscles is to enable movements such as bending the knee and stretching the foot. They are used extensively in everyday activities like walking, running or jumping.

The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body. Like all other tendons, the Achilles tendon hardens as the body grows older. This puts you at an increased risk of injury.

Causes

Despite the strength of the Achilles tendon, many people suffer injuries related to this particular group of muscles. In most cases, it’s due to an increased load on the tendon e.g. increasing your walking/ running distance or number of jumps.

Running, walking or jumping on hard surfaces, as well as hard shoes and abnormal footing (for example, a predisposition to flatfoot or hollow foot) also increases the risk of inflaming the Achilles tendon.

Symptoms

When the Achilles tendon becomes overloaded, it will feel sore and often swell due to the inflammation. It’s important you listen to these symptoms. If you ignore the pain and continue stressing the muscle or overloading with activity, the tendon is more likely to rupture. A ruptured Achilles tendon will often require surgery.

Diagnosis and treatment

Relief

You should avoid jumping, running or similar activities burdening your Achilles tendon. Stay physically active at the same time, though. Not only will this assist the treatment of your Achilles tendon, it will help you prevent and reduce pain in the rest of your leg muscles and joints.

Cycling, swimming and walking short distances may be okay even when you are injured. You should wear soft, shock-absorbing shoes - preferably with a small heel lift - to relieve the Achilles tendon during everyday activities in this recovery period.

Movement and stability exercises

If you suffer from inflammation in your Achilles tendon, it’s important to keep using your ankle to maintain flexibility and work on its stability. You may experience some pain in the Achilles tendon, both during and after exercising.

The pain should never be severe, and your pain level should quickly return to what you were experiencing before the activity. Your pain should not increase from day to day either. Our exercise ‘heel lifts with bended knees’ is great for improving stability and can be found in the training examples below.


Use the Injurymap screening tool to find out if you are ready to treat your Achilles tendon pain with rehabilitative exercises. You will get 14 days free access.


Stretching

Stretching your leg muscles and Achilles tendon should be a core part of treating the inflammation. You can perform stretches while standing on a staircase with your heels extending out past the step.

Alternatively, you can use a wall, as in the example below. Stretching exercises should be performed slowly and must be held for around 30 seconds.

Strength Training

Strength training is a crucial part of your exercise routine. It builds up the Achilles tendon’ ability to withstand the daily load of all your activities without risking further damage. It typically takes between three to six months to build up sufficient strength in the Achilles tendon before you can resume heavy sporting activities safely.


Start training today

If you have Achilles tendonitis, do not wait to get started with your rehabilitation. Try Injurymap’s rehabilitation program for a complete treatment.


Examples of good exercises and stretches for Achilles tendinitis:

Injurymap divides your rehabilitation plan into 3 phases

Phase 1

The exercises in Phase 1 will pay special attention to your Achilles injury. It is important to keep your Achi...
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Phase 2

The exercises in Phase 2 will help you strengthen your balance and stability around your feet. Focus During ...
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Phase 3

The exercises in Phase 3 will help you get back to normal bodily functioning by training your Achilles tendon ...
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Info about rehabilitation and pain

Why exercising helps reduce your pain

The human body is built for movement. If you don't use your body, your muscles and joints will become weaker a...
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How to exercise when you are in pain

Exercise treatment has been shown to be very effective for long-term recovery and pain reduction. Stimulating ...
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The structure of your exercise plan

When we structure your training plan, the damage sustained to your tissue is taken into account, as the exerci...
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Why it hurts

Pain in the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons, joints) may be due to many things, but the most frequent...
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