Achilles Tendinopathy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Achilles tendonitis is often now being referred to as achilles tendinopathy. This is because it is no longer thought to be an inflammatory condition but rather degenerated tissue with a loss of normal fiber structure. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at Achilles tendinopathy in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Achilles tendinopathy is a common overuse injury, accounting for 11 percent of all running injuries.

A tendon is a tough band of tissue that is attached to a muscle at one end and a bone at the other. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

Achilles tendinopathy is thought to be caused by abnormal tissue repair and tendon weakening. Tendon blood supply is poor, possibly contributing to slow healing.

Causes may include a rapid increase in running distance or speed, adding uphill running or stair climbing to an exercise routine, starting up too quickly after not exercising, a change of footwear or training surface, or weak calf muscles.

Pain is typically felt in the middle of the tendon. Rest may decrease symptoms, but they often return with increased activity.

Chronic tendinopathy is difficult to treat. Treatment options include rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, orthoses such as heel pads, stretching, massage and ultrasound. Surgery is often a last resort because recovery is slow.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.