Achilles Tendonitis, Epidemiology and Causes
The Achilles tendon, or calcaneal tendon, is the largest tendon in your body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel, allowing you to extend your foot and point your toes. You can actually feel the tendon on the back of your ankle, right above the heel. Without your Achilles tendon, you would be unable to walk, run, jump or stand on the balls of your feet; your mobility is directly tied to it. Unfortunately, this also one of the most commonly injured tendons, especially among athletes.
When the Achilles tendon is strained, it leads to painful inflammation known as Achilles tendonitis. Symptoms associated with tendonitis often include:
➟ Pain along the back of your foot and heel, especially when flexing your foot
➟ Pain in lower leg after running or exercising
➟ Formation of a bump on the tendon
If left untreated, the tendon can actually tear or rupture, which is extremely painful and may require surgery.
Achilles Tendonitis Risk Factors
Achilles tendonitis occurs in sports, such as running, jumping, dancing and tennis. Although many athletes are prone to this type of injury during excessive or intense physical activity, you may also be at risk due to certain health conditions or other factors, including:
➟ Poorly fitting footwear
➟ Riding on a bicycle with a low seat
➟ Not warming up prior to exercise/activity
➟ Running on hard or uneven surfaces