What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles pain refers to any pain in and around the Achilles tendon and where it inserts into the back of your heel, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body.
The most common type of Achilles pain is called Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is the aggravation and inflammation of the Achilles tendon. With repeated stress or trauma, this can progress to degeneration and even tearing of the Achilles tendon.
The pain is usually described as burning, shooting or stabbing at the back of the heel and can vary in its severity. Often, these symptoms are worst in the first few steps of walking after getting up in the morning or after sitting down for extended periods of time. These generally get better with movement.
In severe cases, you may have difficulty walking or walk with a limp. In acute cases, redness, swelling, warmth and tenderness can also occur.
In chronic, and untreated cases, a bony nodule can form and thickening of the Achilles tendon will occur. This in turn weakens the structure, making it more susceptible to rupture.