What are the causes of achilles tendonitis?

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Both intense training and lack of physical conditioning, among other factors, can lead to Achilles tendonitis. Learn what it is and why it occurs.

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Next, we propose to review the causes of Achilles 
tendonitis, a very uncomfortable pathology. This problem will cause discomfort to the patient at every step, and as is the case with all tendonitis, it can take quite a while to be completely cured.

By understanding this injury a little better and discovering the causes of its appearance, it will also be possible to understand how to cure it. First of all, 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 twin and soleus muscles to the heel of the foot is damaged and becomes inflamed. 

Since the function of this tendon is to allow a plantar flexion of the foot - to make the toes point downwards - any step we take throughout life will require the correct functioning of the Achilles tendon.

If the Achilles tendon is damaged or inflamed, when we ask for activation, it will not be able to exert the same force and 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 the following:

  • Training too intense. When we practice a sport that forces us to do many jumps or sprints, for example, we put great stress on the tendon. If the training sessions are also very intense, the chances of suffering from tendonitis are increased.
  • Lack of physical conditioning. That is if we lead a more or less sedentary life and suddenly one day we go out to run several kilometers or go play soccer for a couple of hours.
  • Do not heat properly. If there is not enough blood circulation and the muscles and tendons are not prepared for the strain, the likelihood of injury increases significantly.
  • Having rigid or contracted muscles. Not having flexible and healthy muscles will also predispose us to suffer from tendonitis. When the muscle is shortened, it will constantly pull on the tendon more strongly. If we add to this the practice of sport, the force it has to withstand is even greater.
As we see, the causes of Achilles tendonitis are directly related to maintaining a good physical condition if we want to practice sport. Having muscles in good condition, properly trained, and flexible is essential to prevent tendonitis. Likewise, it is advisable to do cross-training or alternate different sports to distribute the load.

Risk Factors

The above-mentioned causes will increase your chances of injury if they are accompanied by the following risk factors:
  • Age: the older you are, the less capacity the tendon has. Therefore, as we get older, 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 misalignment of the knee can promote the appearance of tendonitis. It is important that the forces are correctly distributed, in these cases, such distribution can be altered.
  • 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.
  • Basic pathologies. Finally, certain pathologies such as high blood pressure or those that limit the blood flow can also predispose the patient to tendonitis. Moreover, medications such as certain types of antibiotics can also affect in this sense. This is a common situation in the elderly, according to a study published by the magazine Atención Primaria.

Treatment

To provide a brief note on treatment, recovery from Achilles tendonitis will be similar to that of any other tendonitis. First, it is necessary to stop doing the sport that has caused the pain temporarily. Other important measures include:
  • Apply cold to the injury if the pain has appeared recently, or heat if it has been present for several days.
  • Go to the physiotherapist to learn how to stretch the area correctly, as well as to perform gentle eccentric exercises and to work on proprioception.
  • Buy shoes or other sports equipment appropriate for your level.
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Yarrow Tendonitis: Cure and Care

It is important to cure tendonitis, but even more important to prevent its reappearance. Even if we recover, we have to keep in mind that if we keep doing the same thing that caused the injury, it will come back.

Therefore, if the idea is to continue practicing the same sport, we will have to prepare ourselves better physically. To do this, it could be necessary to adapt the training sessions, intercalate other activities between sessions and, if necessary, go to the chiropodist to have the footwork evaluated.

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