Tuesday, 13 September 2022 00:00

Prevention of an Achilles Tendon Injury

Tendons connect muscles to bones. The Achilles tendon, the largest and strongest tendon in the body, connects the lower part of the calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon helps the calf muscle in pointing the toe or doing a calf raise, and aids in all movement of the ankle joint. When it is overworked or inflexible, it is at risk for injury. Damage to the Achilles tendon can include strain, rupture, or tendinitis. The most common injury to this tendon is tendinitis. This can happen when the tendon is stressed from repetitive movements like running or jumping, or from a change in an athlete’s training program. Additionally, it may happen as a result of training at a level the body cannot handle, or from having inflexible calf muscles. Achilles tendon injuries can be prevented with frequent lower leg stretches, strengthening the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, and engaging in appropriate training for a sport. Shorter, easier workouts should gradually progress to becoming longer, and more difficult. Decreasing the activity that caused pain, and resting are the first things one should do if they have injured their Achilles tendon. If you have pain in your Achilles tendon that continues or worsens, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Mark Majeski, DPM of Main Street Foot & Ankle, LLC. Our practitioner 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

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • 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 Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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