Achilles Tendonitis pain – causes, symptoms and treatment

Achilles Tendonitis pain - causes, symptoms and treatment

Achilles tendonitis pain is quite a troublesome condition. Often it feels easier when you rest it but invariably it always comes back when you go back to work, return to sport or exercise.

One of the reasons why Achilles Tendonitis pain doesn’t resolve is because there is a cyclical element to it. With any kind of repetitive strain injury, like Achilles Tendonitis, there is a cycle of inflammation and contracture.

What causes Achilles Tendonitis pain?

It occurs when the muscles of the calf become shortened and tight and put tension on the piece of connective tendon that takes the muscle from the back of the leg into the back of the heel. The achilles tendon becomes irritated and inflamed and that inflammation causes pain. Inflammation is a pain mediator, so whenever you get inflammation in the body, pain is a consequence of that.

The action of the calf muscles is to plantar flex which takes us up onto our tiptoes. These muscles are extremely powerful and you can basically stand on tiptoes with one of these and they’re not much bigger than your bicep muscle. That puts a huge load through the achilles tendon, which is quite a small structure in comparison, and with repetitive use it gets sore, inflamed and painful.

The way the body responds to inflammation is through a guarding contracture. Often there’s a shortening in the muscles which then invariably makes the condition worse. In order to treat something like achilles tendonitis pain effectively you have to break that cycle. You have to rehabilitate the condition effectively first to get on top of the pain. Then you can start trying to resolve it for good.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

  • Pain and stiffness first thing in the morning
  • Pain which is worse after exercise, standing or walking
  • Tenderness when the tendon is squeezed or pressed
  • Tight or tender calf muscles

Treating Achilles Tendonitis effectively

If you suspect that you have Achilles Tendonitis then get your symptoms assessed with our pain assessment tool.

Once you’ve identified the likely cause you’ll be able to download a treatment guide. It will tell you everything you need to know about Achilles Tendonitis and it will help you manage the pain effectively.

Start your Pain Assessment Get the Treatment Guide

Watch the ‘Why Achilles Tendonitis pain won’t get better’ video here

Other resources

Achilles Tendinitis – Symptoms and causes
Achilles Tendinitis – Orthoinfo