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Common Causes of Achilles Tendon Injuries

Monday, 20 July 2020 00:00

The Achilles tendon, located just above the heel, is a band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is particularly prone to injury from overuse. Common causes of Achilles tendon issues include over-training, excessively increasing the intensity or distance that you run or jog, lack of training variation, running on hills, and wearing shoes that do not sufficiently support your feet. You may also be at greater risk of injuring your Achilles tendons if you are male, 30 years of age or older, and have a higher body weight or diabetes. Weakness, poor endurance, or tightness in the calf muscles, poor muscular control of your lower limbs, and stiff ankle and foot joints can increase your risk as well. Consult with a podiatrist to discuss how you can continue to stay active while reducing your risk of Achilles tendon injuries. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. 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

  • 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 one of our offices located in Chicago, Lombard, and Tinley Park, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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