The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel and is the largest tendon in the body. When this tendon gets inflamed resulting in pain, stiffness or swelling, Achilles tendonitis occurs. Achilles tendonitis can occur from excessive strain, lack of warming up before an exercise, or tight calf muscles. There are two types of Achilles tendonitis, noninsertional and insertional. Most common in active and young people, noninsertional Achilles tendonitis occurs when fibers in the center of the tendon become inflamed and swollen. Insertional Achilles tendonitis, which can occur at any age regardless of activity level, forms in the lower part of the tendon near the heel bone and can be accompanied with heel spurs. If you are experiencing pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon area, it is important to visit a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and to allow your podiatrist to help prevent the tendonitis from becoming chronic.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Specialists of Central Ohio. Our doctors 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 offices located in Gahanna, Newark, Columbus, and Lancaster, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.