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How to Treat Achilles Tendonitis

When the Achilles tendon becomes swollen, sore, or inflamed, you have Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon connects to the heel, and is a weak spot just about anyone who happens to stand or move in an upright position, especially runners, walkers, in-line skaters, cyclists, and tennis players.

The most common culprit is a calf muscle that’s too short and tight. A regular stretching program that focuses on your foot, calf, and hamstring muscles goes a long way toward preventing the problem. Ice also can reduce swelling and relieve pain. If you wear high heels, wean yourself from them and switch to flats; heels can contribute to Achilles tendonitis by keeping your calves in a contracted (shortened) position for hours on end.

For chronic Achilles inflammation, the remedy that works best is something many die-hard exercisers don’t want to hear: Stop exercising. Give your Achilles tendon a few days off to rest and repair. Ice the spot, but don’t do any stretching or strengthening exercises that put pressure on your heel. (You can swim, but only if you feel no pain.)

If your Achilles problem persists, see an orthopedist or a podiatrist. You may need more-aggressive remedies.

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