Achilles tendonitis

Mechanism of injury
Achilles tendon is particularly stressed in sport as it functions as a shock absorber and also levers the foot. Injuries usually occur after sport on hard surfaces without adequate cushioning. Too low a heel-raise may contribute to the mechanism of injury.

Pain is experienced on or after exercise. The tendon is usually painful to touch.

If neglected, the pain worsens and there is stiffness after rest. There may be swelling around the tendon.

If not treated the inflammation gradually worsens and constricts the tendon movement.

Treatment Heel pad and rest is usually sufficient. Local anti-inflammatory gel or cream may be helpful (discuss suitability with the pharmacist). If there is no response to these measures physiotherapy may be required.

Occasionally steroid injection into the soft tissue is necessary (performed by a specialist).

Further information

This article published on
25 September 2002

Next review date 8/1/2013


Sports injuries
First aid

Areaof the body

Legs, knees, ankles, feet

Male or female?


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