Two terms are frequently used in connection with Achilles tendon pain: doctors usually write ‘Cause: achillodynia’ on prescriptions and patients with Achilles tendon pain usually think of Achilles tendon inflammation.
However, we need to clear up a few things regarding both terms.
- What is achillodynia?
- Duration of achillodynia – how long does the condition last?
- What is Achilles tendon inflammation?
- Treatment of achillodynia and Achilles tendon inflammation
1. What is achillodynia?
‘Achillodynia’ is a collective term for a wide range of problems and diagnoses linked to Achilles tendon complaints. An indication of ‘chronic achillodynia’ does not really say a lot either.
Achillodynia covers the following conditions, which we will see on this website:
- complete or partial Achilles tendon tear
- achillobursitis – inflammation of the bursa, usually the bursa between the heel bone and the start of the Achilles tendon
- tendinopathy – degeneration of the Achilles tendon, chronic – this does not usually involve any inflammation
- paratendinitis – inflammation of the gliding tissue which surrounds the Achilles tendon
With these terms we are able to narrow down the problem with the Achilles tendon much more accurately and so provide detailed information on causes and diagnoses (see ‘Achilles tendon pain’), but above all on treatment. Next time the doctor writes achillodynia on your doctor’s note, you should ask for more precise details.
2. Duration of achillodynia – how long does the condition last?
This depends on the exact diagnosis behind the term achillodynia. We have specified periods of sick leave for each individual diagnosis depending on the treatment.
3. What is Achilles tendon inflammation?
As we have seen in the list above under achillodynia, inflammation, indicated by terms with the ending -itis, can occur in the region of the Achilles tendon, the bursa (fluid-filled sac) and the gliding tissue – the paratenon.
The most common condition to develop in the Achilles tendon is a tendinopathy. Contrary to what many people think, this is not an inflammation of the Achilles tendon but a degenerative change in the tendon. This occurs due to overload or injuries that have not fully healed.
An inflammation of the Achilles tendon is called tendinitis.
Please note: the most common Achilles tendon complaint is tendinopathy, a degenerative change in the tendon due to overload and injuries that have not fully healed. This is not an inflammation of the Achilles tendon and so is not treated as such.
4. Therapy and treatment of achillodynia and Achilles tendon inflammation
These are the most important types of treatment for all diagnoses covered by achillodynia and Achilles tendon pain:
- Achilles tendon treatment
- Achilles tendinopathy treatment
- Achilles tendon surgery
- Achilles tendon exercises
- Achilles tendon massage
- Achilles tendon tape
- Achilles tendon cooling or warming