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Causes of Achilles Tendon Pain

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 00:00

Pain in the back of the heel is very common in sports, usually signals overuse, and mostly concerns the Achilles tendon. Most common is Achilles tendonitis, which usually starts with a mild ache, but with increased and prolonged activity can develop into severe pain. This injury, an inflammation of the Achilles tendon which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, is common among runners. Another cause of Achilles tendon pain is Sever’s disease, which occurs in adolescent children who are active in sports. It is the result of an imbalance in the growth rate of the calf muscle and the heel bone, but usually self-corrects with time. Achilles bursitis, also known as retrocalcaneal bursitis, is an inflammation of a small sac of fluid in the back of the heel called a bursa. Another overuse injury, it will cause pain, swelling, and tenderness. An Achilles tendon rupture indicates a complete tear, and most commonly occurs in men over the age of 40. A loud snapping noise accompanies this injury, which is often described as being struck on the back of the heel. Immediate attention to this injury is suggested. If you experience any of the above injuries, it is wise to visit a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Abeer M. Foteh, DPM of Greater Houston Foot Centers. Our doctor 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 Baytown, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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