When the Achilles tendon, which is the large tendon on the back of the ankle connecting the calf to the heel bone, becomes inflamed, Achilles tendonitis occurs. Achilles tendonitis may not come from any particular trauma, but instead, the pain gradually worsens over time. Most of the time, pain from Achilles tendonitis is worse in the morning and after long periods of rest, and the pain lessens throughout the day. The most common cause of Achilles tendonitis is over-pronation which is when the arch of the foot flattens upon bearing weight and puts stress on the tendon. Other factors that can lead to Achilles tendonitis include poorly fitting shoes, poor stretching, trauma or a shortened tendon. Patients who are experiencing symptoms of Achilles tendonitis should consult a podiatrist, because it can eventually lead to a painful rupture of the tendon.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dennis Grandy, DPM of California. 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 Sacramento, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.