The Achilles tendon is the tendon that connects the bone of the heel to the muscles of the calf. Anyone that suffers regular small injuries to this tendon could find themselves at risk of suffering from a condition known as Achilles tendinopathy. This condition can cause a lot of discomfort including inflammation, stiffness, and pain.
There are many people who may be at increased risk of developing this condition, including those involved in sporting activities such as running where there is a lot of stress put on the tendon. In addition, people with certain conditions such as arthritis could be at risk of developing symptoms. Anyone who believes they may have developed Achilles tendinopathy should look out for the common signs and symptoms.
Key Signs and Symptoms
Several key signs and symptoms could indicate a person has developed Achilles tendinopathy. While it is more common in those involved in sporting activities, specialists in the field such as Professor Ali Ghoz say it can affect around 6 in 100 inactive people.
Those who suspect they may be suffering from this condition should familiarize themselves with the more common symptoms. This will make it easier to determine whether it is Achilles tendinopathy or another issue. It is then important to seek treatment from a medical professional. This is especially important if the pain is severe, as it could indicate a torn tendon.
Some of the main symptoms that could indicate the presence of Achilles tendinopathy include:
- Areas that are tender to the touch above the tendon
- A painful swelling in the area around the foot and ankle
- Stiffness after resting for a long period or first thing in the morning
- Various levels of pain ranging from mild to severe
There are also ways in which this condition can be self-managed, although this may not always prove successful:
- Investing in shock-absorbing and supportive footwear
- Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets
- Losing excess weight
- Switching to gentle exercise rather than strenuous activity
If none of these steps seem to work or if the pain is severe and debilitating, it is advisable for sufferers to get in touch with a medical professional for a proper assessment. This will enable a specialist in the field to confirm whether it is Achilles tendinopathy and decide upon the most appropriate treatment plan.