complain of pain along the tendon and/or back of the heel (especially early in the morning or after exercising).
There are two forms-- Non-insertional (the fibers in the middle portion of the tendon break down, swell, and thicken; more common in younger, active people) and Insertional (this affects the fibers in the lower portion where the tendon attaches to the heel bone; can occur at any time, even in people who are not active). In either form, the damaged fibers can calcify, and bone spurs often develop in the Insertional form of the pathology.
What causes it?
- Sudden increase in activity without adequate time to recover
- A change in footwear or training surface
- Running uphill
- Wearing high heels consistently
- Tight calf muscles (puts excess stress on the tendon)
- Bone spur (causes the tendon to track improperly)
What can I do to prevent it?
What can I do if I already have it?
- Rest and/or low-impact activities
- Ice (fill a foam cup with water and tear off the rim or use a cold compression wrap)
- Heat (to stimulate blood flow to the area)
- Tape the back of the tendon to support it
- Cortisone injections
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) or therapeutic ultrasound
What are the best shoes for it?
Flexible (or just not overly stiff) sneakers... also, make sure you're in a stability shoe if you need one.