An overuse injury characterized by inflammation, pain, and tenderness, in and around the Achilles tendon. It is common in runners who train over long distances on hard surfaces and those who increase their training intensity too quickly. Women distance runners who usually wear high-heeled shoes are at particular risk because their everyday shoes effectively shorten the Achilles tendon over a period of years. When they adopt the more flat-footed position during running, their tendons are subjected to more stress than they are used to. Training shoes with a high back also increase the risk of injury. Treatment usually includes rest, medication, such as acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) to reduce the swelling, and appropriate physiotherapy. Relief maybe obtained by using a heel pad to restrict the range of movement. In severe cases, surgery may be required. An acute inflammation of the Achilles tendon, if not treated properly can develop into a chronic condition, which is very difficult to resolve. Appropriate stretching reduces the risk of this injury.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.