Many people are unaware that the Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. It can become easily damaged among people who frequently participate in running and jumping activities. This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel, and a sudden injury can cause severe pain and discomfort. Additionally, it may gradually endure wear and tear, and may become inflamed. If an injury is the cause of an Achilles tendon rupture, there may be a loud cracking sound that is heard at the time of the mishap. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which generally involves having an MRI or ultrasound taken, the correct treatment can begin. If you have an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can help you with determining the best treatment techniques.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. 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
- 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 our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.