THE PURPOSE OF THE ACHILLES TENDON
The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the calf, and its purpose is to connect the heel bone to the calf muscles. While anyone can injure their Achilles tendon, it is said people that frequently participate in sporting activities like basketball or tennis, may be at a higher risk due to constant stopping and sharp turns. When the tendon stretches too far, it can rupture or tear. This can cause considerable pain and discomfort, and daily activities may be difficult to complete. Some of the symptoms that are often associated with this injury can include difficulty in standing on toes, walking up steps, and some patients may notice the back of the ankle is bruised or swollen. It can help to ease the pain by elevating the affected ankle as often as possible, as this may help to reduce swelling. Treatment can include wearing a brace or splint, which may help to stabilize the foot. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you towards the best treatment options.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. to 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 at 734-522-7676. We are located in Livonia, Michigan.