The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the calf, and its function is to connect the heel to the calf muscles. It is important for this tendon to remain strong, as it is necessary in performing running and jumping activities. Achilles tendonitis occurs if it becomes irritated, inflamed, or swollen. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including increasing the intensity of a new sport, wearing inappropriate shoes while exercising, or from having tight calf muscles. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can include pain and discomfort near the heel, and some patients may have difficulty in flexing and pointing the injured foot. Effective treatment options can include resting the foot, performing exercises to strengthen the calf muscles, in addition to possibly wearing orthotics. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is strongly advised to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.
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.