Achilles tendonitis
Inflammation in the tendon of the calf muscle where it attaches to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis causes pain at the back of the leg near the heel. Achilles tendonitis can be caused by overuse of the Achilles tendon, overly tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons, excess uphill running, sudden increase in the intensity of training, sometimes along with switching to racing shoes, or wearing high heels at work and then switching to a lower heeled workout shoe. Achilles tendonitis causes pain and often swelling over the Achilles tendon. The tendon will be tender and may be swollen. There is pain on rising up on the toes and pain with stretching of the tendon. The range of motion of the ankle may be limited. Treatment includes ice packs to the Achilles tendon, raising the lower leg, and an anti-inflammatory medication. In some severe cases of Achilles tendonitis, a cast may be needed for several weeks. The doctor may also prescribe a heel lift insert for the shoe to prevent future overstretching of the Achilles tendon. Exerting rapid stress on the Achilles tendon when it is inflamed can result in rupture of the tendon. Prevention of Achilles tendonitis includes stretching the calf muscles and Achilles tendons carefully before doing vigorous activities. If the Achilles tendons or calf muscles are especially tight, it is a good idea to stretch them twice a day whether or not sports activities are planned that day.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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