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Comon Foot Problems

Definition

The Achilles tendon, the strongest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon supports your body's weight during exercise and everyday activities such as walking and climbing stairs. When the Achilles tendon becomes irritated or inflamed, you may experience a sharp, constant pain just above your heel. The pain can be a shooting pain, burning pain, or even an extremely piercing pain.

Cause

Flat feet or over-pronation during walking or running can lead to Achilles tendonitis. Shoes that do not stabilize your feet can cause you to develop Achilles tendonitis pain. Achilles tendonitis is characterized by a sharp or burning pain about two inches above the heel bone of the foot. Achilles tendonitis pain can be accompanied by mild to moderate swelling. Leg length discrepancy, when one leg is longer than the other, can eventually result in Achilles tendonitis.

Treatment & Prevention

Temporarily stop the activity that caused the pain (running, excessive walking, etc.). Ice and/or massage the painful area. Apply ice approximately three times a day for 20 minutes to help reduce inflammation of the tendon. Consistently stretch your calf muscles before exercising or walking. Wear shoes that stabilize your feet during motion. Use heel lifts and other insoles in shoes to give your feet more support. If you find yourself recovering from Achilles tendonitis, get back into your exercise slowly, giving yourself enough time to heal.