Achilles tendonitis is inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is a band of tough tissue on the back of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the calf muscles. Achilles tendonitis is an acute, inflammatory injury of the Achilles tendon that most commonly affects athletes, especially runners, or people who play sports that require lots of starting and stopping, such as tennis.
People with Achilles tendonitis also might have:

  • stiffness and soreness in the heel, especially in the morning
  • swelling or hard knots in the Achilles tendon
  • a creaking or crackling sound when moving the ankle or pressing on the Achilles tendon
  • weakness in the affected leg
  • pain when pointing the foot
  • pain with pressure from shoes
  • tight calf muscles
  • limited range of motion when flexing your foot
  • skin on your heel overly warm to the touch


Minor to moderate Achilles tendon injuries should heal on their own. To speed the process, you can:

  •  Rest your leg: Avoid putting weight on it as best you can. You may need crutches.
  •  Ice it: Ice your injury for up to 20 minutes at a time as needed.
  •  Compress your leg: Use an elastic bandage around the lower leg and ankle to keep down swelling.
  •  Raise your leg: Prop your it on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down.
  •  Take anti-inflammatory painkillers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen can help with pain and swelling. Follow the instructions on the label to help prevent side effects, such as bleeding and ulcers. Take them with food.
  •  Use a heel lift: Your doctor may recommend that you wear an insert in your shoe while you recover. It will help protect your Achilles tendon from further stretching.
  •  Practice strengthening exercises: as recommended by your doctor, physical therapist, or other health care provider.
  • Orthotics: For those with overpronation or gait abnormalities, custom orthotic devices may be prescribed.
  • Night splints: Night splints help to maintain a stretch in the Achilles tendon during sleep.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly: and are made for your sport. Replace them before they become worn out.
  • Try to run on softer surfaces: like grass, dirt trails, or synthetic tracks. Hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt can put extra pressure on the joints. Also avoid running up or down hills as much as possible.

If you or a loved one is experiencing Achilles tendon pain, know that you are not alone—it’s a common condition, albeit a frustrating one to deal with. The good news is that with proper treatment, the vast majority of people get better. Even if your condition becomes chronic, a good rehabilitation program should be able to get you back on track.



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