The Achilles tendon attaches your heel to the calf muscle, and it’s important for helping you walk. When this muscle is strained or sprained, it can cause intense pain when walking or standing up.
Achilles tendon pain when walking can be caused by an injury or overuse, which causes the tissue to tear. This is called a rupture, and it’s most common in people who participate in sports that involve sprinting, jumping, or sudden changes of direction.
Table of Contents
- This Tendon can be Affected in Two Different Ways
- Many Conditions can Cause Pain in Your Achilles Tendon
- Achilles Tendonitis Exercises
- Why is My Achilles Tendon Hurting When I Walk?
- How Do I Stop My Achilles from Hurting When I Walk?
- Achilles Tendonitis Home Treatment
This Tendon can be Affected in Two Different Ways
When it becomes irritated and swollen due to overuse, this is what you usually get if you play sports such as tennis, squash, or basketball, and if you use the same muscles every day (for example, walking). The Achilles tendon can also become inflamed due to a direct blow, for example, when playing football or soccer. This causes pain in your heel and makes walking very difficult. It usually takes a few weeks to recover.
When the tendon tissue becomes damaged and can no longer resist the forces that it’s supposed to withstand (such as walking).
Many Conditions can Cause Pain in Your Achilles Tendon
The most common ones are:
An overuse injury, more common in older patients with chronic conditions or of overweight individuals. It occurs when more strain is placed on the Achilles tendon than it can withstand, eventually damaging the collagen fibers that make up the tendon. This friction causes inflammation and thickening of the surrounding tissue (tendinosis), which subsequently impairs the function of this structure.
A form of tendinitis that causes swelling and pain right away, even without any activity on your part. This may be due to injury in some cases, as it is believed to be caused by overuse. But more often, it’s from inflammation from some other condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or previous joint surgery.
Bacteria causing an infection can also cause pain in your Achilles tendon, causing inflammation and swelling. This is called a bacterial infection. In most cases, an infection can be treated with antibiotics. But in some rare cases, the Achilles tendon needs to be removed.
Osteoarthritis can also cause pain in your Achilles tendon due to a loss of cartilage and subsequent degeneration of the articular surfaces of the joints in your foot. Like infections, arthritis also causes inflammation and swelling.
Fatty Deposits in the Tendon
Fatty deposits are found in many tendons. But when they are present in your Achilles tendon, they can cause pain and stiffness. This is called tendinosis and is more common in overweight individuals over 40 years of age. But it can also occur if you walk a lot or if you suddenly increase your exercise level.
This condition occurs when small sacs filled with fluid, called bursae, get trodden on. Bursae cushion bone against bone and help the tendons glide over bones properly. When bursitis occurs in your Achilles tendon, there is pain and stiffness that comes and goes. This condition requires painkillers, bed rest, and ice packs to help reduce inflammation.
Fracture-Tendon Rupture Complex
Named for how it combines tendon tears and fractures of the fourth metatarsal bone (one of the larger bones in your foot). It happens unevenly in most cases, with a sudden burst of pain followed by numbness or tingling down the tendon. The reflexes such as ankle jerk (sudden jerk on the heel when stepping on a step) are lost, causing severe instability causing falls.
Achilles Tendonitis Exercises
Achilles tendonitis exercises are an important part of recovery; they increase vascular supply to the tendon, keep the tendon strong and healthy. Achilles tendonitis exercises are normal for people doing intense activities like sports, swimming, or running. But it also happens for people who are doing intense exercise like walking every day. This is why it’s always good to do Achilles tendinitis exercises regularly during recovery to stay in shape and not let your Achilles tendon return to its original state.
The best way to do this is by using several thick elastic bands that can be found easily in most sporting shops. The band should stretch one use of the band so that you can feel the normal movement of your Achilles tendon after each stretch. Then, start doing them for 15 to 30 minutes a day.
The first exercise is called sitting calf raise, and you need to do this lying on the floor with one knee bent and your heel resting on your hand. This is why it’s best to use a mat and place your heel of the band on it. You can also place an elastic workout strap over the knee if you don’t have a mat. Standing on one leg at a time, keep lifting your heel so that the band is stretched as far as possible. Be careful not to over-stretch as this can cause pain and even injury if it gets too tight.
The second exercise is called toe curl, without bending your ankle to the ground. You should also use an elastic exercise strap to hold the ankle as well as a reminder for what you’re doing. This can be done on both feet at once or one at a time. Keep bending your knee and curl your toes up as you would normally do when going barefoot. The final stretch of the toe should be held for a few seconds before lowering your heel and repeating the movement on the other leg.
The healing process for Achilles tendonitis usually takes a few weeks to months to recover from. This is why it’s important to do Achilles tendonitis exercises regularly during this time to keep your tendons in shape and not become weak. In addition, doing so will help prevent pain and injury when you return to your normal activities.
Why is My Achilles Tendon Hurting When I Walk?
There are several reasons why your Achilles tendon might hurt when you walk. An injury could cause it, or it could be a recurrence of your Achilles tendonitis when it returns even when you’re not using it.
This problem tends to occur when the tendons and ligaments in your foot get exhausted and worn out from overuse, which can lead to issues such as:
Commonly, the tendons and ligaments in the feet get sore and sore after exercise that lasts for more than 20 minutes. This is normal but can lead to pain and discomfort, such as ankle pain and sore Achilles tendonitis.
At first, it might be difficult to bend your ankle or move your toes, and this is common with the after-effects of Achilles tendonitis.
Pain at Night
Achilles tendonitis can lead to pain and discomfort that can’t be fully explained. This pain can occur after your feet touch the floor, especially if you’re wearing shoes with thin soles.
Pain That Won’t Go Away
This is an obvious sign that you have a recurrence of your Achilles tendonitis since it’s unlikely that you’ll feel fine during the night if you have pain in your Achilles tendon whenever you stand up at night.
How Do I Stop My Achilles from Hurting When I Walk?
The best way to stop your Achilles from hurting is by doing exercises that strengthen and protect them. This is why it’s essential to do Achilles tendonitis exercises regularly, such as using the bands mentioned above. But you can also prevent this by wearing shoes with good support and cushioning, such as high heels or running shoes.
Running shoes should also be sturdy enough to support your heel and ankle properly, which will help prevent stress and strain on your Achilles tendons and ligaments. You can also wear heels with good cushioning and support in the sole and ankle to prevent the impact of each step by bending your foot ever so slightly.
When walking with your Achilles tendinitis, these easy tips can help lessen the chance of injury. Still, when it becomes too painful, you should stop and start doing Achilles tendinitis exercises instead. This is best done by using two elastic bands over each foot, found in most sporting stores. Start doing these exercises for 15 to 30 minutes per day during your recovery period, and this will keep your Achilles tendon healthy and strong.
Achilles Tendonitis Home Treatment
Rest the Affected Area
This includes avoiding any activity that leads to discomfort or pain in your Achilles tendonitis, especially non-weight-bearing activities such as cycling.
Ice packs and compression bandages are great ways of reducing inflammation and speeding up your Achilles tendonitis recovery time.
Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can be used to relieve pain and reduce swelling in your Achilles tendonitis.
Elevate the Feet
Elevate the feet above the heart if possible; this will reduce fluid build-up in the tendons by increasing flow back towards the heart instead of pooling around your tendons as a result of gravity acting on it.
Strengthening the Muscles
Strengthening the muscles around your tendons is also important when treating your Achilles tendonitis; this will help reduce the load on the affected area. This can be done with simple exercises such as heel curls and toe curls using thin elastic bands around your feet.
Can I Still Exercise During Achilles Tendonitis?
Yes, you can still exercise during your Achilles tendonitis, but you should avoid any activities that put a lot of strain on your tendons and force them to stretch too far.
What Should I Do If My Achilles Tendon Is Inflamed?
You can try resting from any activity that has been causing pain in your Achilles tendonitis. However, the best way to get rid of this pain is by using a heel lift or a heel wedge under your shoes. These will help reduce stress on your Achilles tendon and prevent painful exercise.
What Can I Do To Prevent My Achilles Tendonitis From Returning?
You should try and keep your Achilles tendon healthy and strong by doing Achilles tendonitis exercises regularly. You can do this as often as you like as long as you don’t overdo the exercise to the point where it causes pain or injury to your tendons.
Is walking with Achilles tendinitis permissible?
You can still walk during the early stages of your Achilles tendonitis, but you should avoid long walks and walks on uneven surfaces. Your Achilles tendonitis will heal more quickly if you rest during the early stages and do not walk long distances until it has fully recovered. Walking may also cause the pain to increase in your Achilles tendonitis; this is why it’s more important to rest than to walk.
Is It Possible for Me to Run If I Have Achilles Tendonitis?
You can run or jog even with your Achilles tendonitis, but be careful not to overdo it. Running too far or too fast might lead to further injury or aggravate your existing pain. You can reduce the risk of this by running slowly and building up your distances gradually. However, if running does cause you further pain, it’s best to stop and do some Achilles tendonitis exercises instead.