Achilles pain may be due to a number of injuries. It may develop gradually over a period of time, known as an overuse injury, or it may happen due to a sudden movement or force - an acute injury.
- Achilles Tendonitis
Pain in the tendon, usually 2-3cm above heel bone, accompanied by stiffness and often a 'creaking' feeling.
- Sever's Disease
Also known as achilles apophysitis, occurs in adolescents where the tendon attaches to the bone.
- Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
Inflammation of the bursa which sits underneath the tendon near it's attachment.
- Haglund's Syndrome
A combination of tendonitis and bursitis.
- Ruptured Achilles Tendon
A full thickness tear of the achilles tendon.
- Partial Tendon Rupture
A partial thickness tear of the tendon.
Treatment of achilles pain will depend on the type of injury. A full rupture may require surgery, whereas a partial tear is usually casted. Overuse injuries are always treated conservatively (without surgery) initially, although may require surgery if treatment fails.
Conservative treatment often consists of:
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- Stretching for the calf muscles.
- Strengthening exercises, especially eccentric (with gravity, as the muscle lengthens).
- Correction of any training errors or biomechanical problems such as overpronation.