Symptoms: Pain and swelling of the Achilles tendon where it attaches to the heel bone and slightly above indicates Achilles tendonitis. Symptoms get worse with weight-bearing activities and may develop suddenly or gradually.
Causes: Achilles tendonitis accounts for over 10% of all running injuries and is also common in jumping activities such as basketball. Beginning or increasing an activity or even simple walking can lead to the onset of this condition. It occurs when calf weakness or tightness or poor foot biomechanics make the tendon vulnerable to stress.
Relief: Hands-on myofascial release of the calf muscle and Achilles tendon help prevent scar formation. “Eccentric” exercises, which develop tension while the muscle is lengthened, help restore pain-free flexibility of the calf. Ultrasound, ice and electrical stimulation relieve soreness while the exercise promotes healing. Taping, orthotics and footwear changes may also be needed.