This a degenerative condition characterized by pain and swelling in and around the Achilles tendon. An overuse injury that results from repetitive and excessive stress on the leg, it is more likely in middle-aged runners as it is linked to a degeneration of the tendon.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The main symptom is pain, which ranges from mildly uncomfortable to intense. Some people experience pain only when they are active, others experience it even at rest. The Achilles tendon and lower leg may feel stiff, particularly first thing in the morning. You may also notice swelling and thickening around the tendon.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Stop your activity, follow the RICE procedure, and seek medical advice. The doctor may advise you to rest for five to 10 days, prescribe pain relief, and you may need to visit physical therapist for exercises to strengthen the Achilles tendon. If there is no improvement, your doctor may suggest an ultrasound or MRI scan. Surgery is sometimes needed.
WHEN CAN I RETURN TO RUNNING?
Full recovery takes several weeks at least. With prompt treatment, you are unlikely to require surgery or suffer long-term problems, but even if your symptoms improve, you are at risk of another tendinopathy in the future.