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Risk Factors for Achilles Tendonitis

Tuesday, 08 September 2020 00:00

Achilles tendonitis is an injury of the Achilles tendon, the thick tendon located in the back of the leg that allows you to push off while walking, running, or jumping. While anybody can sustain this injury, some people are more at risk than others. Athletes are especially prone to Achilles tendon injuries because they frequently engage in physical activity that can strain the tendon. Athletes who suddenly increase the intensity of their workouts, or change their playing surface or footwear, are at an increased risk of hurting their Achilles tendon. Tight or weak calf muscles, an excessively inward-rolling gait, chronic ankle instability, and differences in the length of your legs can also contribute to tendon injuries. Another common cause of Achilles tendonitis is wearing high heels frequently, which can shorten the Achilles tendon making it more prone to injury. Older age, flat feet, and certain types of arthritis can increase the risk of Achilles tendonitis as well. If you have experienced an Achilles tendon injury, it is recommended that you visit a podiatrist for treatment as soon as possible.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Central Valley Foot & Ankle. 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

  • 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 Visalia, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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