The largest and strongest tendon in the body, the Achilles tendon connects the two main calf muscles to the heel bone. Common injuries include tendonitis (inflammation), tendinosis (degeneration) and rupture. Tendonitis and rupture can occur from overuse of the tendon during work or athletic activities or an injury to the lower leg or ankle. Tendinosis is chronic and degenerative; continuous stress creates micro-tears and a breakdown of collagen tissue within the tendon.
Symptoms: A burning pain and tenderness during or after activity.
Treatment Options: Rest, ice, over-the-counter pain relievers, and physical therapy. Heel lifts are often very helpful. Occasionally a walking boot or cast is recommended to immobilize the tendon. Heel lifts are often very helpful. With a rupture, surgery, or a cast may be needed.