Tendons connect muscle to bone and often connect near a joint. Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. It can cause pain and swelling and makes it difficult to move. Tendinopathy may be:

  • Tendonitis—inflammation of the tendon
  • Tendinosis—tiny tears in the tendon with no significant inflammation

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. An achilles tendinopathy is pain in this tendon.

Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis
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Tendinopathy is generally caused by overuse of a muscle-tendon unit. Over time, the strain on the tendon causes structural changes within the tendon.

Overuse of the Achilles tendon can occur with activities such as:

  • Increasing your speed or running long distances too quickly
  • Suddenly adding strenuous hills or stair climbing to your exercise routine
  • Doing too much too soon after taking time away from exercising
  • A sudden or violent contraction of the calf muscles, such as during an all-out sprint
  • Running too much
  • Lack of flexibility of the calf muscles