The Achilles tendon is considered to be the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel and enables the patient to point and flex the foot. The Achilles tendon can become injured in an accident or due to improper warming up and cooling down before exercising. Some of the symptoms associated with an Achilles tendon injury can consist of heel pain while running and the back of the calf may feel stiff and tight. It is important to stop running when this type of injury occurs, as ample time is needed for the tendon to heal. It may be beneficial to perform stretches that can help to improve flexibility and range of motion of the Achilles tendon. An effective exercise is known as the eccentric heel drop. This is practiced by standing on a step and lowering the heel until a gentle stretch is felt. It can also be done facing a wall like the picture shows. If you have incurred an Achilles tendon injury it is strongly advised that you confer with a podiatrist who can offer you the correct treatment options.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Ian Klein, D.P.M of Florida. Dr. Klein 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 Saint Petersburg, FL. . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.