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What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

Monday, 04 January 2021 00:00

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon on the back of the ankle that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis occurs when this tendon becomes inflamed. This pain can gradually worsen, and it does not need to be associated with a particular trauma. Most pain that is associated with Achilles tendonitis is worse in the mornings and after long periods of sitting, and the pain lessens throughout the day or during activity. The most common cause of Achilles tendonitis is over-pronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens upon bearing weight and puts stress on the tendon. Improper shoes, poor stretching, a shorter tendon, or trauma can also lead to Achilles tendonitis. Because Achilles tendonitis can eventually lead to a painful rupture of the tendon, those who believe that they are experiencing symptoms should consult a podiatrist.  

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. 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 Snowflake, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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