Injuries

What are the causes of Achilles tendonitis?

Next, we suggest you review the causes of Achilles tendonitis, a very uncomfortable pathology. This problem will cause discomfort to the patient at every step taken, and as is the case with all tendonitis, it can take a long time to heal completely.

Understanding this injury a little better and discovering the causes that motivate its appearance will also be possible to understand how to cure it. First, we will briefly comment on what it consists of.

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis occurs when the Achilles tendon suffers from tendonitis. That is, the tissue that connects the calf and soleus muscles with the heel of the foot is damaged and inflamed.

As this tendon’s function is to allow a plantar flexion of the foot – to make the toes point downward – any step we take throughout life will require the Achilles tendon’s correct functioning.

If the Achilles tendon is damaged or inflamed, when we request activation, it will not exert the same force, and it will cause us pain. What can cause this inflammation?

Causes of Achilles tendonitis

This pathology appears when the tendon is overloaded. In other words, when it is required to withstand a greater amount of stress than it is capable of or less strong but prolonged stresses over time. Therefore, the main causes of Achilles tendonitis are as follows:

  • Training too intense. When we play a sport that requires us to do a lot of jumping or sprinting, we put great stress on the tendon. If also, the training sessions are very intense, the chances of suffering tendonitis are increasing.
  • Lack of physical conditioning. If we lead a more or less sedentary life and suddenly one day we go out for a run for several kilometers or go to play soccer for a couple of hours.
  • Not heating properly. If not enough blood circulates, and the muscles and tendons are not prepared for the effort, the probability of injury is greatly increased.
  • Have stiff or contracted muscles. Not having flexible and healthy muscles will also predispose us to suffer from tendonitis. When the muscle is shortening, it will consistently pull harder on the tendon. If we add sports practice to this, the force it has to endure is even greater.

As we can see, the causes of Achilles tendonitis are directly related to maintaining good physical condition if we want to practice sports. Having the muscles in good condition, properly trained, and flexible is essential to prevent tendonitis. It is also advisable to cross-train or alternate between different sports to spread the load.

Risk factor’s

The aforementioned causes will increase their chances of injury if the following risk factors accompany them:

  • Age: the older the tendon, the lower the capacity. Therefore, as we age, we must be more careful when playing sports.
  • Overweight. The more weight the tendon must support, the greater the chance of injury.
  • Structural deformations. Alterations such as flat feet or knee misalignment can promote the development of tendonitis. The forces must distribute correctly; in these cases, such distribution can alter.
  • Inadequate equipment. If you run with inappropriate footwear or always on hard surfaces such as asphalt, you also increase the chances of suffering from tendonitis, according to research carried out by professionals from the University of La Coruña.
  • Base pathologies. Finally, certain pathologies such as having high blood pressure or limiting the blood flow can also predispose the patient to tendinitis. What’s more, medications such as certain types of antibiotics can also affect this. This is a common situation in the elderly, according to a study published by the journal Primary Care.

Treatment

To provide a brief note on treatment, recovery from Achilles tendonitis will be similar to any other tendonitis. First, you need to stop playing the sport that caused the pain temporarily. Other important measures include:

  • Apply cold to the injury if the pain appeared recently, or heat if it has been going on for several days.
  • Go to the physiotherapist to learn how to stretch the area correctly and perform gentle eccentric exercises and work on proprioception.
  • Buy footwear or other sports equipment appropriate for your level.

Achilles tendonitis: cure and take care of yourself

It is important to cure tendonitis, but it is even more important to prevent its recurrence. Even if we recover, we have to keep in mind that. If we continue to do the same thing that caused the injury, it will reappear.

Therefore, if the idea is to continue practicing the same sport, we will have to prepare physically. For this, it may be necessary to adapt the training sessions. Intersperse other activities between the sessions, and, if necessary, go to the podiatrist for an assessment of the footprint.

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