Insertional Achilles tendinopathy

Insertional Achilles tendinopathy is tendon damage in the area where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. It tends to develop when the tendon is rubbing on a bone spur or other type of bone growth.

Symptoms of insertional tendinopathy include tenderness on the lower back of the heel and a reduced ability to overflex the foot. Pain tends to be worse after exercise and can eventually become constant.

Hill running, interval training, sudden increases in running mileage, and landing solidly on the heels when running are closely linked to insertional Achilles tendinopathy. Running on hard surfaces can make the pain worse.

Treatment for insertional tendinopathy includes reducing or stopping the activity that is causing it, ice massage, pain medicine with acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and light stretching. Any running is best practiced on a soft yet firm, flat surface.

Last Updated: January 27, 2009

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedics

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