Achilles Tendonitis effects 4% of the population and is
inflammation or degradation of the tendon on the back of the
heel and calf. This muscle and tendon group when contracting
is responsible for causing the heel to rise from the ground,
propelling our body forward when walking, running and
jumping. The Achilles also works to lower the heel to the ground when landing from a jump.
There are several causes of Achilles Tendon irritation such as
muscle imbalance, muscle tightness, foot type, a change or
increase in activity, worn shoes, and of course direct
injury/strain or compression. This inflammation can occur at
the back of the heel bone (calcaneus) described as “insertional”
tendonitis, or higher up along the tendon just below the ankle bones, called “mid substance” tendonitis.
Sever’s Disease is pain resulting from the pull of the Achilles
Tendon on a growth plate on the calcaneus (heel bone) which
occurs during a growth spurt. Essentially, our bones grow
slightly faster than the muscles, causing increased tension
where the muscle attaches. This condition can be VERY
painful, however it is self-limiting and will resolve once the muscles “catch up” to the bones.