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To discover more about Achilles Tendinitis injuries you need only look at the large tendon at the back of the ankle. It connects the large calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus) to the heal bone (calcaneus). This tendon can become inflammed through overuse as well as a number of contributory factors.
It is estimated that 11% of all running injuries can be due to Achilles tendinitis. This tendon has a poor blood supply which is also why it's slow to heel.
Achilles tendinitis can be acute or chronic. Acute will happen as a result of overuse or training too much, too soon especially on hard surfaces or up hills.
If your feet roll in when you run or overpronate then this can increase the strain on the Achilles tendon because the tendon is twisted as the foot rolls in.
If the warning signs of Achilles tendinitis are ignored or it is not allowed to heal properly then the injury can become chronic. Chronic Achilles tendinitis is a difficult condition to treat. The pains experienced during the acute phase of the injury tend to disappear after a warm up but return when training has stopped. Eventually the injury gets worse and worse until it is impossible to run.
The symptoms for acute inflammation of the Achilles tendon are:
- Pain on the tendon during exercise
- Swelling over the Achilles tendon
- Redness over the skin
- You can sometimes feel a creaking when you press your fingers into the tendon and move the foot
Symptoms for chronic Achilles tendinitis are similar to those of acute tendinitis as well as:
- Pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon especially in the morning
- Pain in the tendon when walking especially up hill or up stairs
- Chronic tendinitis differs from acute tendinitis in that it is more of a long term persistent problem