Definition and Causes of Achilles Tendon Injuries

The world of Achilles tendon injuries is common among athletes across the globe. The Achilles tendon is the band of tissue connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone, enabling us to walk, jump, and run. Achilles tendon injuries are described as tears or strains that happen to this crucial tendon. These injuries can be mild, causing discomfort, or severe pain, possibly causing difficulty in walking. A common cause of an Achilles tendon injury can be from overuse. This can range from increasing speed and mileage too quickly while running to not getting adequate rest.  Wearing improper footwear, such as flip-flops during sporting activities, can also contribute to this painful condition. Additionally, sudden increases in physical activity or tight calf muscles may put stress on the Achilles tendon, leading to injuries. Effective prevention techniques can include stretching, wearing suitable shoes, and listening to your body's limits. If you have endured this type of injury, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist sooner rather than later who can provide you with relief solutions.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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