Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis, a common foot condition that causes heel pain in Singapore, can affect individuals of all ages. Particularly, those engaged in physical activities or with a history of overuse injuries are at higher risk. This condition not only causes discomfort and pain but can also cause mobility to be limited if left untreated. This article will provide you with comprehensive information about Achilles tendonitis and its treatment options in Singapore.

The Achilles tendon, the body’s largest tendon, connects calf muscles to the heel bone. This critical structure plays a pivotal role in activities involving leg movement, including walking and running. Achilles tendonitis, also known as Achilles tendinitis, is characterized by the inflammation of this tendon.

Achilles tendonitis treatment in SIngapore. A photo showing the anatomy of the achilles tendon and where the tendon is inflamed. Straits Podiatry in Singapore.

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis commonly arises from repetitive stress or overuse of the Achilles tendon. The primary causes include:

  • Overuse: Engaging in excessive physical activity, such as running or jumping, without enough rest and recovery can strain the Achilles tendon, ultimately leading to inflammation.
  • Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes lacking proper support or unsuitable for specific activities.
  • Tight Calf Muscles: Limited flexibility in the calf muscles places more strain on the Achilles tendon during movement.
  • Age: As individuals age, the Achilles tendon becomes less flexible and more prone to injury.
  • Sudden Increase in Activity: A sudden increase in the intensity or duration of physical activity can overload the tendon, causing inflammation.

Risk Factors of Achilles Tendonitis

Several factors elevate the risk of Achilles tendonitis, including:

  • Age: Individuals between the ages of 30-50 are more prone to this condition.
  • Weight: Obesity or a high BMI increases strain on the Achilles tendon.
  • Sex: Men face a higher risk compared to women.
  • Athletes: Individuals regularly involved in sports or activities needing repetitive motion are at greater risk.
  • Foot Abnormality: Some individuals possess flat feet (pes planus) or high arch feet (pes cavus), which increases tension of the tendon.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Conditions like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure are also associated with an increased risk1.

Signs and symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis. Photo showing a lady experience pain the in the Achilles tendon and seeking treatment at Straits Podiatry in Singapore.

Signs and Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis is crucial for early management and effective treatment. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain: The most obvious symptom is heel pain, typically described as an ache along the back of the heel. Pain is usually worse during physical activity or when getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Pain during Movement: Pain and difficulty pointing the foot downward or pushing down from the ankle (e.g pain when tip-toeing)
  • Stiffness: The Achilles tendon may become tender and rigid, especially after long periods of rest.
  • Swelling: Swelling, redness, and warmth may present in the Achilles region.
  • Palpable Lump: You may feel a noticeable lump on the Achilles tendon or back of the heel.
  • Limited Range of Motion: The ankle joint and calf muscles may become less flexible.

Diagnosis of Achilles Tendonitis

Diagnosis is made through a thorough examination by a healthcare professional, often a podiatrist or orthopaedic specialist. This process usually includes:

  • Medical History: Understanding your symptoms, activity level, and history of previous injuries (if any).
  • Physical Examination: The healthcare provider will examine the Achilles tendon for tenderness, swelling, and range of motion.
  • Imaging Tests: In some cases, X-rays/Ultrasound tests can help assess the extent of the damage or rule out other conditions. MRI may be necessary if your condition requires further evaluation.
Achilles Tendonitis Treatment in Singapore. A photo showing the podiatrist at Straits Podiatry performing shockwave therapy for the treatment of achilles tendonitis.

Differential Diagnosis

Achilles tendonitis can present very similar to other heel pain conditions, making it crucial to differentiate between them. Conditions that may mimic Achilles tendonitis include:

  • Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia and causes pain at the bottom of the heel.
  • Retrocalcaneal Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa sac near the Achilles tendon.
  • Haglund’s Deformity: A bony enlargement on the back of the heel that can irritate the Achilles tendon.
  • Os Trigonum Syndrome: An ankle impingement condition involving an additional bone at the back of the ankle.
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture: A complete tear of the Achilles tendon, needing immediate medical attention.

Achilles Tendonitis Treatment in Singapore

In Singapore, individuals suffering from Achilles tendonitis have access to a range of effective treatment options:

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Reducing or changing physical activity will reduce stress on the tendon and allow the tendon to heal.
  • Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Always seek a medical professional’s opinion before taking medication.
  • Orthotic Devices: Customised foot orthoses or shoe modifications can provide more support and relieve stress on the tendon.
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy: This non-invasive treatment uses shockwaves to stimulate the natural healing process in the tendon.
  • Radial pressure wave therapy: This non-invasive treatment is typically used in conjunction with shockwave therapy, which can help reduce calf tightness.
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises and stretches can help improve flexibility and strength in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
  • Platelets-rich plasma or Prolotherapy: An adjunct treatment to stimulate the healing of the tendon using injections.
  • Surgery: Surgery is generally for severe recalcitrant cases where conservative Achilles tendonitis treatments have failed. Surgical options may include tendon repair or debridement.

It is not recommended to use corticosteroid Injections in Achilles tendonitis treatment. Corticosteroids increase the risk of a non-traumatic rupture of the tendon2.

Achilles Tendonitis Management at Straits Podiatry

Straits Podiatry offers assessment and treatment options for effectively supporting the management of Achilles tendonitis in Singapore. Our experienced team of podiatrists provide the following:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: Our experts evaluate your condition and determine the extent of injury.
  • Therapies: Equipped with state-of-the-art treatment modalities, we offer options to manage your injury.
  • Orthotic devices: Medically prescribed foot orthoses that help reduce tendon stress.
  • Education: We empower you with knowledge about footwear choices, exercise techniques, and preventive measures.


Achilles tendonitis is a common foot condition in Singapore that can significantly impact your quality of life if not addressed in a timely manner. Understanding its causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and available Achilles tendonitis treatment options in Singapore is crucial for effective management. If you suspect you may have Achilles tendonitis, seek professional medical advice, and remember that early intervention can lead to a quicker recovery and a return to a pain-free, active lifestyle. Don’t let Achilles tendonitis hold you back – reach out for guidance by booking an appointment with us today. Let’s embark on your journey toward healing and relief.


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Do You Have A Question? Ask Us...


In some cases, mild Achilles tendonitis may resolve with proper rest and self-care. My general advice for any pains or problems is to seek help if they persist for more than 2 weeks. However, seeking professional Achilles tendonitis treatment promptly can accelerate recovery and prevent complications.

Yes, Achilles tendonitis is relatively common among athletes and individuals who engage in sports that involve repetitive motions like running and jumping. Athletes also have a higher risk of Achilles tendon rupture, especially if they do not take good care of themselves.

Recovery time varies depending on the severity of the condition and the chosen Achilles tendonitis treatment. It can range from a few weeks to several months.

Yes, calf-strengthening and stretching exercises can help prevent Achilles tendonitis. The key is to have a progressive training plan to effectively strengthen the tendon without injuring it. Your podiatrist can recommend a personalized exercise regimen.

Heat is generally good for chronic cases (pain over 3 to 4 weeks, without signs of redness, swelling, and warmth). I would recommend compression with ice for cases where it is a recent injury with signs of active inflammation. If in doubt, always consult with your healthcare provider for guidance.

It is never advisable to continue sports if you have an injury. Wearing a brace or support may help, but physical activities still put the tendon under lots of stress. It is therefore crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if and when it is safe to return to sports activities.

There is no conclusive study to support any nutrition recommendation in managing tendinopathy. As general advice, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients like vitamin C and protein. Do note that dietary changes alone may not be a substitute for medical treatment.

High heels can exacerbate Achilles tendonitis by placing additional strain on the tendon. I would highly recommend wearing supportive, comfortable shoes during recovery.

Yes, with proper guidance from your healthcare provider and gradual progression, you can return to your regular exercise routine once the tendon is fully healed. Proper warm-up and stretching are crucial.

Prolonged untreated Achilles tendonitis can lead to chronic pain and potential complications. It may also increase the risk of a tendon rupture. Early intervention is essential to prevent long-term damage.