It’s common for athletes to feel pain on their Achilles tendon immediately after waking up – a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. So, you’d ask why does this happen? Well, positioning and injury are two key reasons why the Achilles tendon might hurt immediately you wake up.
For persons that take part in very engaging physical activity or sports, they could experience overuse tendinopathy. This kind of injury in athletes results in tendon’s fibers getting micro-tears. Therefore, when they wake up, stretching their shortened calf muscles would cause pain on the Achilles tendon.
Achilles tendon Structure
So, what’s the anatomical structure of the Achilles tendon? It’s made up of bundled connective tissues linking the heel bone to soleus and gastrocnemius to enable running and walking.
The soleus and gastrocnemius produce the power the foot requires to lift off and move toes when walking or jumping.
Causes and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis
Strenuous activity such as excessive jumping or running can cause an Achilles tendon injury. Also, a sudden jump in the exercise intensity or having tight calf muscles may trigger Achilles tendinopathy.
Also, running or jumping on uneven surfaces or with regular shoes may also trigger the growth of the condition.
The symptoms to consider when starting treatments are pain or stiffness after extended inactivity or when you wake up. Further, when you’re walking or running, you may feel pain along the Achilles tendon or on your heel.
Another system is that you’ll feel pain when walking an inclined surface or climbing on stairs. It’s also important to note that the presence of warmth, swelling, and pain around the Achilles tendon may signify an inflammation.
Treatment options – Achilles tendonitis
The first step towards healing and rehabilitation your injured Achilles tendon is reducing the amount and intensity of unnecessary movement. This will allow you ankle and foot to rest and thus enhance recovery of the Achilles tendon.
If symptoms persist, you should visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis. For example, the physician may prescribe RICE therapy – which incorporates Rest, ICE, Compression, and finally Elevation.
2. Orthotic devices
Wedges or shoe insert may help in raising your heel slightly and thus reduce pain and straining on your Achilles tendon. Further, the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis and shoe insert offers required cushioning and thus reduce the level of weight landing on the Achilles tendon.
Strengthening exercises and stretching, as prescribed by your physical therapists, can promote healing of your Achilles tendon and nearby structures.
For example, most physical therapists will prescribe “eccentric” exercises for your Achilles tendon injury. In this specific exercise, you’ll slowly let down some weight following its raise, which assists heal continuous Achilles injury.
This must not come early; it will need to be your last fallback treatment method. It’s most helpful if the Achilles tendon is torn or when the rest and other exercises do not produce the required results.
You physical will thus prescribe surgery on your Achilles tendon to correct the tear, abnormally and hence the pain. But first, it’s important to undertake necessary x-ray and MRI scans before the doctor conducts the surgery.