Achilles Tendonitis

peer review

This content has been reviewed and approved by Kathy Doubleday DPT, OCS.

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone (calcaneus), and is the noticeable cord running down the back of the ankle.

Achilles Tendonitis is an inflammation of this tendon causing pain. It is now being more appropriately labeled a tendonosis or degenerative tendon.

Achilles Tendonosis tends to be an overuse injury related to running, jumping, and climbing inclines. Like Plantar Fasciitis, it is often more prominent at waking and relaxes over the day. A change in workout, such as adding hill or stair climbing can initially cause this inflammation.

  • Pain progresses over time
  • Pain in the back of the heel when standing on toes
  • Soreness in the back of the heel
  • Thickness or noticeable bump on Achilles tendon
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • An over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen usually does not adequately relieve symptoms
  • Stretching the calf muscles to improve flexion of the ankles can alleviate symptoms
  • Heel lift to give slack to the tendon and modifying affecting activities that stress the tendon
  • Training modifications including stretching and warm up before vigorous exercise.
  • Eccentric exercises that will help the tendon heal. This process takes several months and should be followed by a therapist.
3d rendered illustration of the achilles tendon

Printable Achilles Tendonitis Exercises (pdf)

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