Achilles Tendonitis: It’s Not Just For Athletes Anymore

Achilles tendonitis is a more common condition than you might think. This injury, characterized by pain in the back of your leg and heel, is experienced by almost every professional athlete at least once during their career. But it’s not limited to athletes, as it can happen to anyone when running, climbing, or even taking a walk!

Although recovery may take a while, the good news is that there are no negative consequences in the long run. With time and proper care, everything can return to the way it was. In this article, we’ll explain all you need to know about Achilles tendonitis, including treatment options available, as well as some products that can make your life easier.

achilles tendonitis

What Is Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles with your heel bone. The inflammation is usually caused by repeated stress and strain of that part of your leg. It can be classified as an overuse injury, as it usually occurs after challenging activities such as running.

It’s an indication that you’ve probably forced your leg during an activity that was either too intense or lasted too long. However, the good news is that it’s only a temporary condition and it will probably be gone soon, but you may need to incorporate some changes into your lifestyle if you want to avoid it in the future.

What are the Causes of Achilles Tendonitis?

As mentioned, the most common cause of Achilles tendonitis is running, especially if you haven’t been running for a while or you missed your warmup session. Other activities such as walking, jumping, and climbing are also known to cause this issue.

But you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer from Achilles tendonitis. It often affects those whose muscles are weak due to lack of exercise. People with certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are also at higher risk. Be careful if you’re starting to work out after a long break, as your muscles and tendons might need some time to adapt.

Another common cause is inadequate footwear. Women who spend all day on high heels are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendonitis than those who wear more comfortable shoes.

What are the Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

The most common symptom of Achilles tendonitis is pain in the back of your leg or above the heel. Most people start feeling pain immediately after exercise, and it can begin as a mild ache that can become more severe. However, not all people feel pain. Sometimes it’s experienced as a burning sensation or tenderness.

In addition, your leg could start to swell or become stiffer, which can cause pain when you try to move. Don’t worry, as this stage doesn’t last long, and most patients are able to walk without extreme pain after a few days.

If you’re not sure whether you have Achilles tendonitis, as you don’t have all the symptoms, it may be a good idea to book an appointment with your podiatrist, who will be able to diagnose your condition.

Why Does Achilles Tendonitis Hurt More at Night?

Many people complain that their Achilles tendonitis gets worse at night, and there could be various reasons for that. When we’re still, our circulation isn’t as good as when we’re moving, and that could be a factor. Second, maybe you’re sleeping in a position that’s putting pressure on the inflamed tendon.

Finally, in less severe cases of Achilles tendonitis, mild physical activity is recommended. That’s why some people feel better during the day, as a result of movement. If the pain persists, you might want to try using a special sleeping boot made for people who suffer from Achilles tendonitis.

The easiest solution may be to put a couple of cushions under your leg while you’re sleeping. This position improves circulation, and it should help relieve the pain.

foot pain while sleeping

What Treatment is Available for Achilles Tendonitis?

There are many ways to cure Achilles tendonitis, and everything depends on how severe your injury is. Some people prefer to treat it at home, especially if they have experienced it before and know how to deal with it. However, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor, just to be sure the injury is not severe.

Medical Options

The three medical options include physical therapy, medication, and surgery. However, one option doesn’t exclude the others. Your doctor will probably suggest that you start with special exercises, with a focus on stretching and strengthening. You should be supervised, at least at the beginning, until you learn how to do them correctly.

If the pain is intense, your doctor might prescribe pain medication and something to reduce the inflammation.

Finally, if your symptoms persist for more than six months, your doctor may suggest surgery to repair your Achilles tendon. This is not a complicated surgery, although it requires significant rest afterward. But before you start thinking about surgery, give your body time to repair itself. Most cases of Achilles tendonitis resolve within two months, and there is no need for surgery.

At-Home Options

If you decide to treat your Achilles tendonitis at home, the most important thing is getting enough rest. It means that you should refrain from your usual exercise for at least a couple of days, if not weeks. When you start implementing exercise, it should be done gradually.

If you need to reduce pain or swelling, it’s safe to put some ice on your leg. However, be careful not to leave it in one place for more than 15 minutes. Other home remedies include compression, which can be done with wraps or elastic bandages.

Finally, you should raise the injured leg whenever you can. For example, when lying in bed, you can put a couple of pillows under your leg.

Is There a Cream for Achilles Tendonitis?

There’s no topical medicine for Achilles tendonitis, although you can use a number of creams to decrease pain and swelling. We suggest you try topical anti-inflammatory gels such as Voltaren Gel. As an alternative, you could use any cooling gel for relief.

Is Massage Good for Achilles Tendonitis?

If performed by someone who knows how to do it, massage can greatly benefit. But if you try to do it alone or with the help of someone who’s inexperienced, it can do you more harm than good. We suggest you ask your therapist whether massage would help in your particular case.

The massage that’s proven to be the most effective for Achilles tendonitis is pressure massage, which should be performed by a professional.

soaking sore feet

Does Stretching Make Achilles Tendonitis Worse?

Stretching is an essential part of Achilles tendonitis treatment and recovery, but if you start too soon or too aggressively, it could make your injury even worse. It’s important to start slowly and gradually, and not force your body to do something it’s not ready to.

If you’re not sure about the best way to stretch, ask your therapist to show you. Don’t try to learn it by watching YouTube videos, as that could do you more harm than good.

Does Achilles Tendonitis Ever Go Away?

The good news is that Achilles tendonitis doesn’t last forever and if you follow your doctor’s advice, it can be gone in as little time as a couple of weeks. However, there’s no quick fix, as it does require some time and rest to heal. It usually gets better within six weeks, but it sometimes takes up to three months.

If it doesn’t go away within six months, we strongly recommend you contact your doctor and explore further treatment options.

Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis 2020

If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis, the first thing you may need to do is stop wearing any shoes that could be a cause of the inflammation. Yes, we’re talking about those high heels. However, the good news is that there are plenty of beautiful shoes that are comfortable and supportive at the same time. Here’s a list of best shoes for Achilles foot pain.

Best Winter Boots for Achilles Tendonitis

When purchasing winter shoes for Achilles tendonitis, you have to be careful. They should not only be comfortable, but they also need to be warm and waterproof. The last thing you need is rain or snow to get your feet wet. Here you can see best winter boots for Achilles tendonitis for men and women.

Dunham Men’s Lawrence Boot

These are durable boots are made of natural materials. One can never go wrong with 100% leather winter boots. Leather adapts to your feet, over time stretching and making more room if needed. They provide excellent support for your ankles, without being too tight.

These boots are not only waterproof, but they also have a special sole that makes them slip-resistant. This is essential for people with Achilles tendonitis, as you need to protect your lower leg from sudden unexpected movements. Finally, they come in two colors, brown or black, so you can easily match them with all your clothes.

Drew Glacier – Women’s Waterproof Orthopedic Boot

If you love nature and hiking, we’ve got good news for you: After a couple of weeks, you can return to your nature walks, but you’ll need to be careful. Of course, you should first consult your doctor, who will probably recommend for you the best hiking boots for Achilles tendonitis, something like these. Drew Glacier ankle boots provide optimal support and are made for challenging weather conditions. They have advanced waterproof protection, so your feet will always stay dry and warm. You can also remove the foam footbed to allow for your orthotics, if you wear any. That way, you can adjust the size of the boot’s interior according to your current condition.

Best Sneakers for Achilles Tendonitis – Best Running Shoes

If you need something comfortable you can wear all day long, running shoes can be a great choice for you. Of course, not all running shoes are suitable, and that’s why we’ve chosen the best sneakers for Achilles tendonitis for you.

Skechers Women’s D’Lites Memory Foam

These lightweight women’s sneakers are one of the widest models on the market. They’re perfect if your feet are swollen, or you just need some extra space. The insole is made of memory foam that adapts to your feet as you walk. The sole is very flexible, and the heel is a little higher, allowing your feet to be in the perfect position recommended by podiatrists.

The padded collar and tongue provide ankle support, which can be essential for women who suffer from Achilles tendonitis. Finally, there are more than 30 color combinations to choose from, so everyone can find something appealing. These could just be the best women’s shoes for Achilles tendonitis on the market.

New Balance Men’s Made in US 1540 V2-Running Shoe

What we have here are sports shoes with breathable mesh and a dual-density foam collar that adapts to your foot. New Balance sneakers are famous for their stability, and this model is no exception. In fact, they’ve used Rollbar technology to improve lateral and medial rear foot stability.

These could easily be the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, thanks to their adaptability and excellent support. Moreover, they’re stylish and built to last, so you can keep wearing them long after your Achilles has healed.

Asics for Achilles Tendonitis

Asics makes some of the best sports shoes on the market, and they’re suitable for multiple foot conditions. Their price may be somewhat higher than lesser-known brands, but most who have worn them agree they’re worth it. That’s why we’ve chosen two fantastic pairs of Asics for Achilles tendonitis.

ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 21 Running Shoes

If you love sports, these may be the best shoes for Achilles issues for you. They come in more than 20 colors, from classic looks such as black, white, or gray, to brighter options such as pink or blue.

These running shoes are made with Plus 3 Midsole Technology, which means that they feature 3mm of additional height that helps relieve Achilles tension. Moreover, there’s a special heel clutching system technology for additional support. Walking in these Asics feels effortless and natural.

ASICS Men’s GT-2000 7 Running Shoes

This pair of shoes is built with Asics’s rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system, which makes them possibly the best shoes for Achilles tendon injury. Special cushioning provides comfort and support for your injured feet, while it also attenuates shock during impact.

The shoe naturally adapts to your toes as you walk, helping you feel more stable on your feet with every step. Finally, they’re very durable, thanks to high abrasion rubber placed in the crucial areas of the outsole. As a result, these shoes are worth investing in, as you’ll be able to wear them for years, long after your symptoms go away.

Best Sandals for Achilles Tendonitis

Out of all Achilles shoes, it can be most challenging to find good sandals for Achilles tendonitis. Most sandals on the market have a very thin sole, and they don’t provide the support that patients need. Moreover, they tend to offer poor traction, which makes them dangerous for people recovering from this condition.

However, there are some quality open models. They may be difficult to find, but they do exist, and we’ve chosen one for you.

Vionic Women’s Tide II Toe Post Sandal

Whether you’re looking for sandals to wear at home or outside, this sandal could be an excellent choice. They’re designed by a podiatrist, and they have an orthotic footbed with a deep heel cup for additional support. Multiple tests have proven that these sandals effectively alleviate heel pain. Moreover, they help you align your body and improve your posture.

These sandals have an EVA midsole, which absorbs shock and helps reduce stress on your feet and ankles. They’re lightweight, and you can put them on or take them off in a matter of seconds, without using your hands. That makes them perfect for patients who stay at home and put on and take off their shoes many times throughout the day.

Best Men’s Walking Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Your doctor will likely recommend mild exercise as part of your treatment, but this can be difficult when you have trouble walking. The trick is to find the right shoes that will be comfortable and supportive at the same time.

Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 4 Incredible Walking Shoe

Skechers keeps surprising us every year with new models suitable for people with various foot conditions and injuries. This time, we present to you what could possibly be the best walking shoes for Achilles tendonitis on the market. Skechers did a great job combining mesh fabric with the 5GEN midsole design and innovative Goga Max insole.

These shoes promise the most advanced walking experience ever, and it’s safe to assume they could be the best men’s shoes for Achilles Tendonitis. Lightweight and breathable, the mesh expands with your feet as you walk. Finally, they have a bamboo-lined footbed with anti-bacterial odor control, which makes them suitable for hot summer days.

Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Walking is the best activity for the final stages of your recovery and returning to your everyday tasks. However, you have to be very careful when choosing footwear, and many women ask themselves: what kind of shoes should I wear for Achilles Tendonitis? We’ll try to answer that question by providing an excellent example of women’s walking shoes for Achilles Tendonitis.

Propet Women’s TravelActiv Walking Shoe

Many women claim these are the most comfortable walking shoes they’ve ever worn. The secret is simplicity and using only top-quality materials. A feature that sets this model apart is its incredible flexibility, as well as super-comfortable insoles. Insoles feature extra cushioning to enhance comfort and mitigate pain.

The footbed is removable, in case you need some extra space. What’s more, these walking shoes are available in five widths, from narrow to extra extra-wide. That may be a solution for swollen feet due to Achilles tendonitis. Finally, you don’t have to spend a fortune buying shoes that fit your current condition, as these from Propet are reasonably priced.

Best Women’s Dress Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Parties are a painful topic for women suffering from Achilles tendonitis, but it doesn’t have to be like that. There’s no need to miss an important celebration just because you couldn’t find the right shoes. Of course, you should avoid high heels at this stage, but remember that good shoes for Achilles problems can actually be very stylish. You just have to know where to look for them.

Orthofeet Comfortable 2 Inch Low Heels

These elegant shoes are made for women with sensitive feet or any foot condition who don’t want to give up style. They’re proof that you can get the best of both worlds: superior comfort in combination with orthotic insoles while still looking glamorous. The footbed consists of multiple cushioning layers that provide pillow-like support.

The heel may be somewhat lower than the high heels you’re used to, being only 2 inches, but that’s enough to improve your posture and boost your confidence. Most importantly, there is extra thick heel cushioning, making these some of the most comfortable walking shoes.

Look no further, as these are the best dress shoes for Achilles Tendonitis you’ll ever find. If you have any doubts, you can try them risk-free, as they come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Best Men’s Dress Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

When you suffer from Achilles tendonitis, you’ll feel most comfortable when wearing walking or running shoes, and that’s normal. But what about those occasions when you have to dress up? Don’t worry, as there’s a solution for that as well. Thankfully, shoe manufacturers are starting to realize that Achilles tendonitis is a condition that can last for months and that you may need different types of footwear during the healing process.

Apex Men’s Lexington Strap Loafer Black Sneaker

Apex shoes are designed by foot health experts just for people like you who are suffering from foot or leg injuries. This elegant model comes in two colors, black or brown. It features a combination of leather and synthetic materials, which results in a very accessible price. The heel is slightly lifted, assuring optimal posture for people recovering from Achilles tendonitis.

It’s no wonder doctors recommend Apex footwear to their patients, as the shoes have all the features you might need. The best thing is that they’re risk-free: you can get a full refund if you’re unsatisfied.

Products for Achilles Tendonitis

Adequate shoes may be essential for treating Achilles Tendonitis, but that’s not enough. Thankfully, today we have various products that can make your life easier and speed up your recovery, from heel sleeves and braces to orthotic inserts for Achilles tendonitis. Some of these products may be essential if you want to return to your regular sports activities once your Achilles has healed.

Heel Lifts for Achilles Tendonitis – Orthotic Inserts

Most patients complain that they feel pain or tightness in the heel area. That’s why heel lifts are one of the first orthotics for Achilles tendonitis every patient should buy. But don’t worry. They’re inexpensive, and they can make your current shoes more comfortable, so you may not have to buy another pair of shoes.

Dr. Foot’s Adjustable Orthopedic Heel Lift Inserts

As the name says, these could be the most adjustable heel lifts for Achilles tendonitis. They consist of three layers, allowing you to build up the height using just the number of layers you need. That way, you can customize them depending on how you feel daily. They’re self-adhesive, so they’ll stay in place no matter what.

The best thing about this product is that it’s made to fit all types of shoes – running shoes, work shoes, boots, etc. Moreover, they’re moisture-wicking and washable, which makes them possibly the best insoles for Achilles tendonitis on the market.

Strap for Achilles Tendonitis

A high-quality leg strap is essential for those who want to avoid stressing their Achilles tendon during exercise, especially if you engage in running, hiking, or other active pursuits. People who have once suffered this kind of injury should make a habit of wearing the strap each time they exercise, as they’re prone to re-injury.

CROSSTRAP Achilles Strap

There are many straps made for leg injuries, but if you can, you should always choose one that’s made especially for your particular issue. What we have here is the Achilles strap that was first made to help professional athletes overcome their Achilles tendon injury.

Unlike other ankle straps, this one doesn’t have plastic or rubber details, which could irritate your skin or cause new injuries should you fall. It’s made of neoprene and soft nylon. The material is very durable, so this strap can be relied on for years if still needed.

Rocker for Achilles Tendonitis

One of the most common causes of Achilles tendonitis is not stretching before and after an intense workout. Stretching is an essential part of the recovery process, and it can help speed healing.

However, that doesn’t mean you should stop stretching after the condition is gone. If you want to avoid issues with Achilles tendonitis in the future, you should incorporate stretching into your daily routine. Tools like the Rocker stretcher are game-changers, as they make stretching easier and more effective, and they also make it more enjoyable.

ProStretch Blue – The Original Calf Stretcher & Foot Rocker

First things first, this rocker is recommended by doctors, as it’s medically proven to provide deeper and more effective stretching than any other conventional method. The best thing is that you get to control how far you want to go so that you can use it during all phases of your recovery.

The stretcher is sturdy and stable, and it has rubber strips on the bottom as well as additional protection against moving and sliding. Moreover, it’s lightweight and portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Brace for Achilles Tendonitis

Ankle braces are a must after sports injuries and when nursing Achilles tendonitis. They not only play a vital part in your recovery by compressing your muscles and relieving pain, but they will also make it easier for you to return to your favorite sports. The good news is that modern braces look very attractive, almost like fashion accessories.

TechWare Pro Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve

This ankle brace is super thin, and it can be worn with any kind of footwear. However, don’t let that fool you, as it provides strong compression and speeds up the recovery process. They’re made of a soft wicking fabric that’s very breathable and easy to maintain.

These braces are unisex, and they come in three sizes and eight colors. You could opt for a model that blends with your skin tone, so no one can guess you’re wearing them. On the other hand, you could also experiment with bright pink braces if you want to brighten your day!

Heel Sleeve for Achilles Tendonitis

The main difference between heel sleeves and braces is that sleeves are usually more lightweight, while braces offer more support. However, sleeves can be quite helpful, especially in the final stages of your recovery. It’s essential to choose sleeves of quality material that are stretchable and don’t hinder circulation.

CRS Cross Achilles Heel Sleeve

CRS is a famous brand when it comes to medical sleeves. It was founded by a former professional figure skater, an athlete who frequently had to deal with leg injuries. These may be a bit pricier than generic sleeves you can buy in some stores, but in the long run, they offer excellent value.

While generic sleeves may wear out quickly, these are made of a very sturdy fabric, and they adapt to the size of your foot. They also feature an extremely durable elastic and can last for a very long time.