The Achilles tendon is the thickest, strongest tendon in the entire human body. This large band of tissue, which connects your heel bone to your calf, makes it possible for you to walk, run, and jump. Such a responsibility comes with a price, though. Because we place such high demands on our Achilles tendon every day, injuries are pretty common. Here are two types of Achilles injuries we treat here at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland:
The Achilles tendon injury that’s most familiar to people is tendinitis. Any word that ends in “-itis” means “inflammation.” Your Achilles tendon may become swollen from
- overuse – repeated actions like running or jumping and not giving your body time to rest
- any sudden movement that overstretches the tendon
- jumping into an activity without a proper warm-up
- suddenly engaging in strenuous activity or sport after weeks or months of inactivity
- biomechanical problems in your feet such as overpronation or underpronation
- wearing unsupportive, worn-out shoes.
- Symptoms of an inflamed Achilles tendon may include
- persistent tenderness or stiffness below your calf, especially first thing in the morning
- redness or swelling in the area just above your heel
- pain in the lower calf area that gets worse with activity
Rips, tears, and ruptures
Being stretched, swollen, and overused is one thing; completely tearing apart is another. A torn or ruptured Achilles tendon is usually the result of a sudden movement, accident, or strong impact. The rupture may be accompanied by a loud “popping” noise immediately followed by pain and swelling.
Our expert podiatrists Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann can treat Achilles tendinitis with prescription medications to reduce inflammation and a brace or boot to immobilize the area. Rest is essential for proper healing. A torn Achilles tendon may require surgery. For skilled treatment of Achilles tendon pain, make an appointment with us online or call us in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041.