Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury to the tendon that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone

It can involve inflammation of the tendon or micro tears to the fibres of the tendon

It is an overuse injury that is common especially to runners, athletes or jumping sports, due to the repetitive action and may occur in other activities that requires the same repetitive action, like repetitive actions at work

Commonly people describe pain and stiffness upon rising in the morning and after rest

The pain can vary from mild to severe and is often described as a shooting pain, burning pain or even an intense pain in the back of the heel. The pain can be aggravated by activities that repeatedly stress the tendon, causing inflammation or pain in the first few steps of the morning or after sitting down for extended periods of time which eases after a few minutes of walking

Often the tendon is painful to touch or squeeze along the lower third of its length and sometimes there is a lump that develops


  • Flat feet ( overpronated feet )
  • An increase in activity (frequency, intensity and or duration) of activity
  • Unsupportive or flat footwear
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Sudden increase in sport or activity, “too much too soon”
  • Change in training surface eg grass to bitumen, soft to hard surfaces


  • Rest, ice application, stretching
  • Pain relief : Anti-inflammatories and Paracetamol
  • Silicone heel cup or orthotic insoles and supportive footwear
  • Time: may take weeks to months depending on severity of injury
  • Rehab program: initially stretching and later strengthening exercises
  • For a rupture: this may need surgery