Achilles tendonitis refers to inflammation of the Achilles tendon and its sheath. It is generally caused by overuse and is most commonly seen in runners and athletes that engage in sports that incorporate at lot of jumping. It is believed that along with inflammation in the tendon there is also mirco-tearing of the tendon structure as the result of sudden or repeated trauma.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis can vary from a painful lump in the tendon with localized pain, to more generalised discomfort around the ankle joint. Pain, or a burning sensation, is generally worse at the beginning or after the cessation of activity. Most people with Achilles tendonitis will experience morning stiffness in the region particularly the day after activity due to swelling of the tendon in its sheath.
Treatment of Achilles tendonitis begins with identification and modification of the cause of the injury. Therapy generally includes a combination of soft tissue therapy, dry needling, interferential therapy (a device similar to a TENS machine), laser therapy, targeted stretching and exercises and modification of physical activity.