Achilles’ Tendonitis
Tendons are thick, fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. The Achilles’ tendon, also called the heel cord, connects muscles in the back of the lower leg to the heel bone (or the calcaneus). It helps the foot point downward, rise up on the toes and push during walking.

The Achilles’ tendon was named after Achilles, a mythological Greek warrior whose mother held him by the heel and dipped him into the Styx River with the hope of giving him immortality.

Inflammation of a tendon is called tendonitis. The area highlighted in red in this illustration refers to Achilles’ tendonitis.
Symptoms:
Achilles’ tendonitis creates pain, tenderness and stiffness just above the heel bone.
Causes:
The most common cause of Achilles’ Tendonitis is overuse of the tendon, such as during excessive physical activity involving feet. Biomechanical abnormalities and wearing high-heeled shoes for prolonged periods can also create this condition.
Prevention:
Stop, or at least limit, activities that place excessive stress on tendons. For example, if running causes heel pain due to the high-impact motion, then cross train by mixing in a lower-impact routine such as biking or swimming. It is also very important to stretch before and after such activities.
Treatment:
To treat Achilles’ tendonitis, remember the acronym “PRICE”: protect, rest, ice, compress and elevate:

  • Protect: Protect the Achilles’ tendon from further injury by immobilizing it. Wearing a brace or splint and using crutches can encourage faster healing.
  • Rest: Rest is vital for tissue healing. Avoid activities that increase pain or swelling to the injury. After a few days of completely resting the affected area, gently move it through its full range of motion a few times a day to maintain joint flexibility and prevent stiffness.
  • Ice: Ice can help reduce pain or swelling. Apply it to the injured area for about five minutes a few times daily.
  • Compress: Compress the injury until the swelling is gone with a compression bandage or wrap.
  • Elevate: Elevate your foot above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

Wearing proper footwear and shoe inserts, such as heel stabilizers and heel supports, can take stress off of your Achilles’ tendons, comfort feet and prevent injuries.

Recommended PediFix® Products:
  • Swede-O® Ankle-Lok® Ankle Brace
  • Tuli’s® Gel Heel Cups
  • Tuli’s® Heel Cups
  • Adjust-A-Heel Lift
  • Arch Cradles®
Warning:

We hope these suggestions improve your health and make you more comfortable. However, if you have any concerns about our advice, if any symptom persists for an unreasonable amount of time or if your condition worsens after self-treatment, we encourage you to consult a medical professional for further assistance.

Please note, people with diabetes and poor circulation should always consult a medical professional before performing any self-treatment.