Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis are very predictable creatures. Each symptom is the result of one or more different mechanisms in the body. Essentially, each symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is a variation of ‘It hurts when I’m at rest and/or when I stand or walk or run or jump’. But each symptoms exists for specific reasons.
Like any type of tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis symptoms can be mild or severe and debilitating. Pain can be sharp or dull, constant or come and go.
This pain is a result of muscles and connective tissue that are TOO TIGHT telling the brain that there is danger of injury. Because the structures become bound so tightly together, they lose flexibility and mobility and have less easy movement, and the brain considers that a potential injury threat.
This pain is a result of Pain Enhancing Chemicals from the inflammation process setting neuro-receptors on edge, hypersensitive to the slightest motion or stimulus. Ever twist an ankle and have it swell up, and just touching it with a finger it HURTS? That’s Pain Enhancing Chemical.
The pain is a result of actual damage to the Achilles tendon, or no damage but irritation to the tendon. You can have pain with actual rip/tear damage, and you can have the exact same pain without any damage.
This pain is a result of small parts of the muscle being stuck in spasm, 24/7. Tiny bits of muscles in spasm can send a constant pain signal. They’re also responsible for sharp, sudden, shooting pain.
It could also be the result of nutritional deficiency. When the body doesn’t have the building blocks that it needs, it can’t operate optimally. Nor can it get rid of the negative effects of inflammation. Wouldn’t it be weird to spend months in PT if all you needed was enough of the right nutrition?
This pain can be from swelling of the tendon itself due to inflammation. When a physical structure is out of whack, two things happen. One, it sends non-normal signals to the brain. Two, the brain freaks out and goes into defense mode, which long story short, causes pain.
This pain is the result of muscles, for a variety of reasons including those above, not being able to do their job optimally, thus not absorbing force. All that force has to go somewhere, and usually that’s to the tendon, where wear and tear (tendonitis) and bigger rip and tear occur.
A muscle’s job is to absorb force. When it doesn’t do that like it’s supposed to, that’s when rip and tear happens. Common theory on injury states that if an Achilles tendon gets injured, it’s the tendon’s fault. But that’s far from the truth. Tendon injury is where a problem ENDS UP, but far from where it starts.
As you learn to understand the real causes of the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis, you will become far better equipped to make them go away.