Home treatments, such as rest, ice packs and elevation, are useful for relieving minor soreness of the Achilles tendon, according to Mayo Clinic. Performing stretching exercises and wearing compression bandages or supports can help strengthen a strained tendon, but painful, long-term inflammation may require medical attention.
Doctors use diagnostic tests such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasounds to determine whether a serious condition is causing persistent tendon pain, as Mayo Clinic explains. Prescription medication and orthotic inserts are useful for managing persistent pain, but doctors may recommend surgery if the tendon is torn.
The Achilles tendon is known as the heel cord because it extends down the back of the leg, linking the heel bone to the calf muscles, as the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons notes. An inflamed Achilles tendon, known as Achilles tendinitus, typically develops when the tendon is overused during repetitive activity, such as sports or physically demanding occupations. The tendon fibers are exposed to rapid, repeated stress, which interferes with the body’s ability to quickly repair the strained tissue. Ongoing inflammation may escalate the condition to tendonosis. Individuals with fallen arches are also highly susceptible, especially when they frequently wear shoes that lack adequate support.
Aching, stiffness and tenderness in the tendon are common symptoms of inflammation, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Individuals often experience heel or calf pain, and symptoms may manifest strongly when putting pressure on the tendon after long periods of immobility, such as during sleep.