Achilles Tendonitis (Tendinitis)

Tendonitis a swelling and soreness of the tendon. The pain in the tendon (cord like structure which attaches muscle to bone) is produced by tiny tears and the inflammation present in that tendon. It commonly occurs at the shoulders, heels, and elbows. It is usually caused by overusing the tendon and joint involved. Achilles tendonitis involves the Achilles tendon. This is the large tendon in the back of the leg just above the foot. It attaches the large muscles of the lower leg to the heel bone (called calcaneus).

This diagnosis (learning what is wrong) is made by examination. X-rays will be generally be normal if only tendonitis is present.

Home Care Instructions

  • Apply ice to the injury for 10 to 20 minutes 3 or 4 times per day. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin
  • Use crutches as instructed.
  • Try to avoid use other than gentle range of motion while the tendon is painful. Do not resume use until instructed by your caregiver. Then begin use gradually. Do not increase use to the point of pain. If pain does develop, decrease use and continue the above measures. Gradually increase activities that do not cause discomfort until you gradually achieve normal use.
  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

Seek Medical Care If

  • Your pain and swelling increase or pain is uncontrolled with medications
  • You develop new, unexplained problems (symptoms) or an increase of the symptoms that brought you to your caregiver
  • You develop an inability to move your toes or foot, develop warmth and swelling in your foot, or begin running an unexplained temperature

Make Sure You

  • Understand these instructions
  • Will watch your condition
  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse

For more information about Achilles tendonitis (tendinitis), please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).