Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis)

Achilles tendonopathy is a common condition in which the Achilles tendon becomes swollen and painful. It may be associated with a bone spur on the heel bone (Haglund spur or pump bump). It is usually caused by over-use, poor training techniques, abnormal biomechanics in the limb or sometimes direct injury. Certain antibiotics and some rare problems of metabolism such as familial hypercholesterolaemia can also contribute to it.

Treatment is usually with physiotherapy initially, possibly combined with the use of orthotics. If this fails to relieve the problem then other measures such as extracorporeal shock-wave therapy or surgery to debride and repair the damaged tendon and remove the heel spur can be undertaken.