The Achilles tendon connects the heel with two large muscles in the calf that allows the foot to push off. This pushing off motion is necessary for walking, running, and jumping. Achilles tendonitis is a painful inflammation of this tendon where it connects at the heel. In younger people, Achilles tendonitis may develop from overuse. This may be from increasing the intensity of an activity suddenly, running too often on hard surfaces for longer distances, jumping excessively, or wearing shoes without proper support. It may also occur if the foot turns in or out abruptly. In older and middle-aged adults, Achilles tendonitis may be caused by arthritis, bone spurs, and other conditions that aggravate or put excess tension on the tendon. If you have pain in your heel a podiatrist can examine you to determine the origin and develop an effective treatment plan that is specific for you.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Kennedy Legel of Advanced Foot & Ankle Care Specialists. Our doctor 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 office located in Dallas, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.