February 24, 2010

Symptoms of Chronic Achilles Tendon Problems

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Achilles tendonitis is a condition where a large tendon present in the ankle of the feet gets inflamed and irritated. This injury is caused by the overuse of the ankle. This is a common injury affecting athletes who are middle aged. The pain and swelling is caused due to the overuse of the muscles, which can fatigue and damage the tendon. Such overuse can also cause the tendons to rupture or snap.

This condition has lately been caused due to lifestyle issues. Achilles tendonitis can also be caused due to improper footwear. If you have recently changed your exercising or training schedules that too could cause this condition. People who do a lot of running and long distance athletes are also susceptible to this condition.

Tendons tend to become less flexible as you grow old. They become rigid and more susceptible to injuries. The tendons and ligaments become rigid and deteriorate like all the other tissues.

Achilles Tendonitis Symptoms

Pain at the back of the heel is the first symptom of this condition. This is usually the place where the particular tendon gets inserted into the heel of the foot. Usually, if a person suffering from this condition lays inactive for some time, the pain becomes aggravated. For instance, when a patient walks the first thing in the morning after laying down for an entire night, there may be discomfort and pain. This pain could be mild or severe, depending upon the extent of damage sustained by the tendon.

Activities which involve jumping and running can also cause such discomfort. Patients suffering from this condition are advised to abstain from running or jumping.

Achilles tendonitis is diagnosed by a physical examination. These symptoms are quite typical and cannot be confused with another disorder. Therefore when the doctor is checking the medical history of the patient, it is easy for him to determine whether it is Achilles tendonitis or not. An x-ray and a simple physical examination of the foot can point out the exact location of the pain. It is only in rare cases that an MRI scan is necessary.

If treatment is not administered soon, this condition can turn into a chronic problem. If the inflammation sets in, the tendon can begin to degenerate at an alarming pace. When still ignored, there may be a rupture in the tendon causing a permanent damage to the ankle, and possible physical disability.

As with every other disease, Achilles tendonitis’ best treatment is its prevention. Always begin your exercising with proper stretching. This can help you maintain the flexibility of the tendon.