Pain felt in the heel is a common complaint in athletes and those who participate in physical activity. The culprit behind that heel pain can range from a variety conditions—some even overlapping. Achilles tendinopathy is an injury to or degradation of the Achilles tendon. Most cases of tendinopathy occur slowly over time from excessive strain that can lead to microdamage in the tendon fibers.
Risk Factors for tendinopathy
- Strenuous physical activity
- Training errors and poor technique
- Poor anatomy
- Poor footwear
- Age: often seen in middle aged peopel
- Inflammatory joint diseases
Symptoms of tendinopathy
- Morning stiffness
- Tenderness in the Achilles tendon
- Pain during physical activity or rest
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory pain medication
- Eccentric exercise program
- Splints or foot orthosis
- Shockwave therapy
In general, most doctors recommend conservative treatment options first. If the patient does not seem to respond to rest, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain medication, other treatment measures should be discussed.
Traske Muir, M.D.
Jordan Valley Medical Center