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Achilles tendon enthesopathy is a condition caused by chronic traction between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone (calcaneus), causing pain in the posterior heel.
It is known that shortened or contracted calf muscles are a contributing factor. This may be caused by a sedentary lifestyle. On the other hand, athletic overuse is also a potential cause, as are pre-existing medical conditions, such as joint diseases in the spine (spondyloarthropathies), and arthritis.
Symptoms and diagnosis
The most characteristic symptom of Achilles tendon enthesopathy is pain at the back of the heel.
On palpitation, pain at the point of contact between the Achilles tendon and the calcaneus is used as a diagnostic indicator.
Patients are prescribed a series of exercises as party of physical therapy aimed at stretching the calf muscle.
Splints may also be recommended for night use, in order to provide a stretch along the calf during sleep, and to help prevent contractions of the muscle.
Heel lifts can also be used occasionally to alleviate stress on the tendon, thereby relieving pain.