Achilles tendinitis is a painful and often debilitating inflammation of the Achilles tendon, also known as the heel cord.
Achilles tendinitis is often described as an ailment of athletes. Football and tennis player, runners and dancers are particularly susceptible to this problem because their activities involve sudden stops and starts as well as jumping and other actions that stress the tendon. Women who wear high-heeled shoes often also develop Achilles tendinitis due to the change in heel elevation increasing the load on the tendon.
The problem may be caused by a single incident of over-stressing the Achilles-such as when a person fails to stretch or “warm up” sufficiently before exercising – or it may result from an accumulation of smaller stresses that produce numerous small tears over time.