Several muscles attach to the Achilles tendon allowing for flexion, extension, and even a degree of rotation around the ankle joint. The calf muscles make up a large part, and the tendons from other muscles, such as those from the hip or thigh, can be connected to the Achilles tendon. People who perform activities such as running, jumping, and kicking are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries because of the constant pressures applied on both sides of the leg. Additional risk factors include age (over 40), obesity, and previous Achilles tendon injuries. This article looks at some of the most common conditions that affect the Achilles tendon. If you have any Achilles tendon injury, you need to see an Achilles tendon in Westfield specialist for treatment.
Achilles tendonitis is also known as heel pain, Achilles tendinopathy, and insertional Achilles tendonitis. It is a condition characterized by inflammation of the tendon. The inflammatory response leads to localized swelling, irritation, and pain. Tendons attach muscle to bone and permit motion at a joint. Damage can occur when repeated movement or overuse of the tendon, causing tiny tears in the tendon fibers. If the body’s natural healing process does not adequately repair microtears, inflammation may occur.
Repetitive use causes further damage, which results in thickening and scarring of the tendon, leading to reduced flexibility and increased pain with activity. Your doctor may recommend rest, ice, compression, and elevation to treat Achilles tendonitis. If the condition does not improve over time, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or recommend physical therapy for stretching exercises to help reduce pain.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles tendon rupture is a condition affecting the Achilles tendon, which is located in the lower leg and connects the calf muscles to the bones of the foot. Symptoms may include sudden sharp pain or snapping sensation at the back of your ankle or lower leg, swelling, and bruising around the affected area. Ankle joint stiffness and restricted movement of the ankle are also standard.
Achilles tendon rupture often occurs when the muscle is suddenly stretched beyond its normal range of motion. This rupture may occur due to a sudden contraction of the calf muscles during an explosive movement. Treatment involves a rest period, followed by wearing a cast or boot to immobilize the leg. Surgery is usually reserved for those who have not recovered within six months.
Achilles tendinosis is a condition in which microtears develop within the tendon fibers. It results in painful swelling of the tendon and pain with activity. Achilles tendinosis or Achilles tendinitis occurs when excessive stress is placed on the Achilles tendon, usually by overuse. Over time, the continuous friction causes tiny tears in the tendon fibers. The body responds by adding more tissue to the area to repair and strengthen it, but this new tissue is not the same quality as the regular tendon.
In summary, the Achilles tendon is vital for most lower body activities. Injury to the Achilles tendon often occurs when the tendon is overused or overloaded such as during sports or other high-impact exercises. Some of the most common injuries to the Achilles tendon include Achilles tendonitis, Achilles tendon rupture, and Achilles tendinosis.