If you have severe pain in the back of your heel, you may have an Achilles tendon injury. It is the body’s thickest tendon, and it connects the back of the heel to the calf muscles. When the foot pushes forward while running, the Achilles tendon absorbs the force necessary for this to be accomplished. The beginning of an injury is typically represented by a dull ache in the back of the heel, and the pain will increase in severity if the running activity continues. There may be several causes for this type of injury to occur, including a poor range of motion in the ankle, calf muscles that are weakened, and having flat feet. Specific exercises that are practiced may aid in the healing of an Achilles tendon injury, and it’s recommended to see a podiatrist for a proper examination.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Jeff Pawlowski of Red Mountain Footcare. 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 Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.