Achilles tendinitis results from inflammation of the large tendon at the back of the leg that inserts into the heel. It is often made worse by activities that stress the tendon such as running, walking for extended periods, high-impact sports, and even prolonged standing. Achilles tendinitis is particularly common in people with flat feet where over-pronation stretches the tendon excessively.
Signs and symptoms include burning, shooting, or sharp pain in the ankle and back of the feet. Your chiropodist will perform a thorough physical exam, biomechanical assessment, and gait analysis.
Rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to reduce pain and swelling, as well as modalities such as infrared/laser light therapy. Once symptoms subside, a course of gentle stretching exercises may be recommended to help prevent recurrence. Acute symptoms may also be helped with taping and strapping, although a more permanent solution such as custom orthotics is often required to correct over-pronation caused by flat feet.
Achilles tendinitis may become progressively worse if left untreated resulting in increased pain and the potential for the tendon to weaken and rupture.