Achilles Tendon Injuries
Knoxville’s Choice for Achilles Tendon Injury Treatment
What are Achilles Tendon Injuries?
The Achilles tendon is a band of tough, fibrous tissue that connects your leg muscles to your heel. This muscle needs to be strong and flexible so that you can jump, run, and walk.
Your Achilles tendon goes through a lot of stress and pressure every day, as well as when you play sports and games for fun.
What are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?
The most common symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury include:
- Pain down the back of your leg or near your heel
- When you are moving, the pain gets worse
- When you first get up, your Achilles tendon is stiff and hurts
- Tendon pain the day after working out
- Swelling and pain increase as you move around during the day
- Your tendon is getting thicker
- Bone spurs on the heel bone
- Having trouble bending the affected foot
- A loud “pop” and quick, sharp pain are signs of a torn tendon
What Causes Achilles Tendon Injuries?
There are many different causes for Achilles tendon injuries. Below are some of the many causes:
- Tendonitis – Tendonitis could be caused by overuse of the area or damage to it. It can hurt the back of your leg and the area around your heel. Because of tendonitis, you might notice that parts of your muscle are getting thicker and harder. If you don’t treat this, it will get worse and symptoms will increase in severity
- Rupture – Tears in the fibers of your tendon can cause the tendon to break or tear. You might hear a “pop” in the back of your heel or leg, which could be a tendon rupture, which needs medical help right away
- Repetitive stress – Stress and overuse on the tendon can cause an injury
Achilles Tendon Injury Treatment
Treatment will depend on how severe your Achilles tendon injury is. Treatments may include:
- RICE therapy – Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
- Medications – Over-the-counter medication, like ibuprofen, can help relieve pain and swelling
- Exercises – Exercises that help strengthen calf muscles to take the pressure off the Achilles tendon will reduce the pain and swelling
- Physical therapy – A physical therapist will help with strength and flexibility exercises to increase strength and range of motion
- Exercise alternatives – Changing your activities can help build strength in the surrounding muscles. For example, running can be replaced with swimming
- Modifications in shoes – Changes in footwear, and other aids such as heel lifts in shoes, orthotic shoes, casts, splints, or walking boots can help relieve the pressure on the Achilles tendon
- Surgery – If the above treatments don’t work or if the injury is severe or it is a ruptured tendon, surgery may be an option. The type of surgery will rely on where and how much damage there is to the tendon, as well as other things, like how bad the tendonitis is
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