The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscles, and it is located in the back of the leg, directly above the heel. It is known to be the largest tendon in the body, and if it should become injured, it may be difficult to walk and run. This tendon enables the foot to point and flex, in addition to standing on tiptoe. There are noticeable symptoms that exist if an Achilles tendon injury has occurred. These can include severe pain in the back of the leg, the inability to bend the foot, and some patients may also notice the ankle is bruised and weak. As the aging process occurs, it is important to perform proper stretches that can keep the Achilles tendon strong, and this may be helpful in preventing a painful injury from occurring. It can become torn or injured if you suddenly step off of a curb, which may overstretch the tendon. Moderate relief may be found when the affected foot is elevated, and it may feel comforting if an elastic bandage is wrapped around the foot to provide additional support. If you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. 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 one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.