Achillodynia

Achillodynia is pain due to inflammation of the Achilles tendon and the lubricating tissues surrounding the tendon.

What is achillodynia?

Achillodynia is acute pain of the Achilles tendon and the lubricating tissues surrounding the tendon. The clinical picture ranges from irritation to inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Sometimes the tendon or bursa can even rupture.

Anatomy

The calf muscle consists of three sectionss, which join in the lower part of the calf to form the Achilles tendon and inserts into the calcaneus. The Achilles tendon is about 1.5 cm long and transmits the power of the calf muscles to the bone – in particular to the foot, i.e. the heel.
This region must withstand very high forces, especially when jumping and landing. A force equal to eight times your own body weight acts on the Achilles tendon when you run.

Signs and symptoms

The classic symptoms of achillodynia are severe pain, swelling and extremely sensitive when pressure is applied. Initially these symptoms only occur when starting exercise and disappear again once you have warmed up. The pain is typically not felt at the heel, but a little above it. This is where the body defends itself against overuse by increasing the volume of the weakened connective tissues. But despite this thickening, the tendon is not protected against overuse any better than before. In fact, quite the opposite.

To avoid suffering a rupture of the Achilles tendon it is important to heed the body's warning signals. The overworked tendon needs a rest.

Risk factors and causes

Symptoms occur most often when the tendon is overworked or generally weak.

As the most common runner's injury, achillodynia usually starts after individuals have trained too hard and overworked the tendon. Unusual stresses, such as running on uneven ground, also play a role. But runners and other athletes are not the only people to suffer Achilles tendon symptoms. Being overweight can also put too much strain on their Achilles tendons.

Other causes can be from orthopaedic foot deformities – such as a valgus foot – or even the wrong footwear can also be the cause. Other factors include taking certain antibiotics and smoking – this can make the tendons more susceptible and weak.

Prevention

Achilles tendon problems can be avoided if you train the muscles in your feet by walking barefoot and doing specific rocking exercises, for example.
You should also make sure you wear good shoes. Choose outdoor shoes with low heels and running shoes with a damping effect.
Warm up well before running and do gentle stretching exercises. Make sure your foot can roll over easily and avoid any abrupt stresses like jumps.

How can symptoms of the Achilles tendon be treated?

To enable the tendon to heal quickly, it is important to relieve any stresses and strains.

Relieve tension on tendons

To enable the tendon to heal quickly, it is important to relieve any stresses and strains on it. The Achilles tendon support, Achimed from medi, can help with this. 
Achimed
  • Moisture transporting
  • Protection for the Achilles tendon
  • Available in 2 colours
£ 69.99 £ 44.99
Furthermore, a number of measures can also help inflammation:
  • Massage
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory ointments
  • Physiotherapy therapy
  • Ultrasonography
  • Cooling
  • Acupuncture
It can be helpful to wear an Achilles tendon support to relieve tension on the tendon.

The Achilles tendon support Achimed from medi is an example of a support used for treating achillodynia. In addition, the supportive fabric and the silicone pad massages the affected part and helps to reduce swelling.

The Clima Comfort knit wicks away any perspiration to the outside of the support. The Achimed Achilles tendon support is put on like a sock. Two separate heel wedges correct the position of the foot and relieve the Achilles tendon. These can be placed in the shoe.