The large tendon located in the back of the calf is known as the Achilles tendon. It plays an important role in pointing and flexing the foot which is vital to completing daily activities. An Achilles tendon injury can occur for several reasons. These can include sustaining a running or jumping injury, changing an exercise routine, or wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. There may be existing medical conditions that lead to this painful foot condition, including obesity, having flat feet, or if your foot rolls inward while walking or running. The symptoms that are often associated with this type of injury can consist of intense pain at the time of the injury and stiffness, and the affected area is often swollen. Some patients even hear a popping noise as the injury occurs and this generally requires immediate medical attention. There are different methods to treat this condition and it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine which treatment is best for you.
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
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- 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, Albemarle, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.