The largest tendon in the body is referred to as the Achilles tendon. It is located in the back of the calf, and it’s function is to connect the lower leg to the heel of the foot. Most tendons have the ability to stretch, and inflammation may occur if this tendon is overstretched. If this should occur, a tear may develop, and this condition is known as Achilles tendonitis. There are several noticeable signs that are associated with this ailment, specifically when the foot is bent in a downward position, including extreme tenderness, severe pain and discomfort. Additionally, the affected area may be stiff and difficult to bend upon arising in the morning. Many athletes may be affected by this condition, especially if their chosen sport involves frequent stopping and starting activities. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this uncomfortable condition.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. 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 Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.