Achilles tendinitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed, swollen and painful as a result of the Achilles tendon being put under excessive strain.
It is estimated that Achilles tendonitis accounts for 11% of all running injuries. According to achillestendon.com, there are 230,000 Achilles tendon injuries per year in the USA.
The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the leg & connects the calf muscle to the heel bone & when injured, causes pain, swelling and inflammation. It is the largest tendon in the body. The calf muscle is actually made up of two large muscles that combine to create the strength and power to lift your foot when you walk or run. The gastrocnemius is the larger muscle that you can see under your skin and is actually made up of two parts that give the calf muscle its shape. The smaller soleus muscle is behind the larger gastrocnemius.
The function of these muscles are to "plantarflex" (pointing the foot downwards) the foot and ankle. During sports, the Achilles tendon and the calf muscle can be overworked due to repetitive stress, causing tearing of the tendon and muscle fibers, resulting in pain, swelling and inflammation. When the tendon is damaged, it is referred to as Achilles tendonitis.
Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of Achilles tendonitis, there are several treatment options available. Rest is the first thing that you should do to allow the tendon to heal. Ice and NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) helps reduce swelling and inflammation.
Your doctor may prescribe a tall walking boot to immobilize the leg and ankle so the Achilles tendon does not function. This allows the tendon to heal and prevent further injury. A night splint is used while sleeping to keep the foot and ankle at a 90 degree angle. This protects the tendon from any sudden movements while sleeping.
There are several high quality ankle braces designed specifically for Achilles tendonitis and chronic Achilles problems. Braces such as the Bauerfeind Achillotrain and Achillotrain Pro provide superior compression, comfort and protection around the Achilles tendon. The new Zamst AT-1 is specifically designed for runners that suffer from chronic Achilles tenonitis, helping to control excessive pronation and supination.
Whichever brace you choose, know that The Brace Shop is your #1 source for all your orthopedic extremity needs.
Below are the most popular braces for Achilles tendonitis based on manufacturer recommendation, customer feedback, popularity, quality of product and sales volume at The Brace Shop. If you have any questions, we are only a phone call away.
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