Achilles tendonitis is a painful and debilitating tendinopathy affecting the Achilles tendon, located on the back of the heel. Symptoms may include tenderness or stiffness in movement, swelling around affected areas with associated warmth to touch, and pain when stretching or flexing the foot. Activity-related discomfort can make walking or running difficult; however, timely diagnosis and treatment will help restore mobility quickly. Engaging in rigorous physical activity without properly equipping your body can lead to Achilles tendonitis. This condition is linked with quite a few causes. Some common causes are tight or weak calf muscles stemming from a sedentary lifestyle, wearing ill-fitting shoes, and running on hard ground surfaces like concrete sidewalks or playing sports such as basketball which involve strenuous jumping motions. All of which can leave you more susceptible to injury if not addressed beforehand. Additionally, increasing exercise levels too rapidly may disrupt the necessary recovery time needed by the body for adjustment. To address the severity of Achilles tendonitis, a combination of rest and ice therapy to reduce swelling may be recommended in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications. Physical activity should include stretches unique for this condition as well as wearing supportive footwear. Orthotics are often prescribed to relieve stress on the heel due to improper foot mechanics that lead to it developing further. Physical therapy is also encouraged for improved mobility around joints and strengthened calf muscles, ultimately preventing lasting damage from occurring. If conservative treatment fails, then surgical intervention may be recommended.
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