The symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis suggest strongly that this is an overuse injury. Rather than the sharp pain of a rupture, which occurs when this thick band, which runs from the calf muscles to the back of the heel, gets torn, you are more likely to experience a gradual increase of pain over time.
Achilles Tendonitis will typically have a history of inflammation or degeneration, often compounded by changes to your training schedule.
Risk factors for Achilles Tendonitis include:
- Sudden increase in mileage
- Increase in hill running
- Change in shoes
- Lack of flexibility
Flexibility is often the biggest issue, with some trainers believing that if you don't stretch this area, injury is inevitable.
The symptoms include:
- Pain around the site
- Worse when running
The start of treatment is RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation - this will reduce the pain and swelling and start the healing process.
It is then time to follow a plan of straightening and flexibility exercises. This is one of the most commonly injured areas for runners, so it makes sense to treat it properly.
Stop or reduce running for a while (biking or swimming won't normally aggravate it), and get a proper stretching and strengthening plan from a physio. You should be able to resume running in just a few weeks.