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Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury/inflammation of the Achilles tendon. It occurs when the tendon that connects the back of your leg to your heel becomes swollen and painful at the back of your heel. The Achilles tendon allows you to push your foot down and is used for walking, running, and jumping.


The Achilles tendon connects two large muscles in the calf to the heel bone or calcaneus. This tendon creates the power needed to push off with the foot or go up on the toes. Heel pain is most often due to overuse of the foot. It can also be caused by an injury, but it less common. Achilles tendinitis due to overuse is most common in younger people but can occur in walkers, runners, or other athletes.

Achilles tendinitis may be more likely to occur if:

  • Sudden increase in the amount or intensity of an activity.

  • Your calf muscles are very tight or poor flexibility of the ankle joint.

  • Running on hard surfaces such as concrete.

  • Aggressive running.

  • Flat feet. (increased tension)

  • Participating in jumping sport, such as basketball.

  • Shoes with improper support.

  • Spraining your ankle.


Symptoms can include pain in a specific spot along the tendon such as in the heel or along the entire length of the tendon. Pain is usually exacerbated with walking or running. Your Achilles tendon may be too painful to touch or move. You may experience warmth and swelling. Many shoes you typically find comfortable will irritate you.

Commonly, having Achilles tendonitis can result in a bone spur or growth may form in the back of the heel bone. This may irritate the Achilles tendon and cause pain and swelling.


Diagnosis of Achilles tendinitis may include physical exam, X-rays, MRI to rule out any partial tears or ruptures, which would require surgery.


The main treatments for Achilles tendinitis:

  • Ice

  • Changes in activities, including decreasing activities that cause pain

  • Run on smoother/softer surfaces

  • Reduce high impact sports

  • Physical therapy

  • PRP/Stem Cell injections

  • Bracing or immobilizing

  • Heel lift

  • NSAIDs

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