What is Achilles tendinopathy and what causes it?
Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the Achilles tendon. It is thought to be caused by repeated tiny injuries (known as microtrauma) to the Achilles tendon. After each injury, the tendon does not heal completely, as should normally happen. This means that over time, damage to the Achilles tendon builds up and Achilles tendinopathy can develop.
This is a subject close to my heart at the moment as I am experiencing symptoms.
The Achilles Tendon can be found just above the heel bone, it attaches the calf muscles, Gastrocnemius and Soleus to the heel.
There are a number of things that may lead to these repeated tiny injuries to the Achilles tendon. For example:
- Overuse of the Achilles tendon. This can be a problem for people who run regularly. (Achilles tendinopathy can also be a problem for dancers and for people who play a lot of tennis or other sports that involve jumping.)
- Training or exercising wearing inappropriate footwear.
- Having poor training or exercising techniques – for example, a poor running technique.
- Making a change to your training programme – for example, rapidly increasing the intensity of your training and how often you train.
- Training or exercising on hard or sloped surfaces.