The Achilles tendon is a strong band of fibrous tissue that runs along the back of your lower legs, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. When this tendon is injured, typically as a result of overuse, wearing the wrong shoes, or having another foot problem, it can become inflamed. A mild Achilles tendon injury is characterized by pain during or shortly after physical activity. A moderate injury may cause swelling in the tendon, and a hard lump called a nodule may form. A severe injury is characterized by pain while bearing weight. In some cases, the tendon can rupture, which is said to feel like a hard whack on the heel. If you have symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Active Foot and Ankle Care, LLC. 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 Fair Lawn, Riverdale, and Englewood, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.