The tendon that is located on the back of the leg is known as the Achilles tendon, and it is the largest tendon in the body. The purpose of this tendon is to connect the calf to the heel, and is considered to be stronger than it is flexible. If an injury should occur that affects this tendon, it may cause a tear or rupture, and can produce severe pain and discomfort. It may happen as a result of participating in sporting activities, wearing incorrect shoes for the chosen sport, or medical conditions which can include flat feet. The symptoms that are often associated with an Achilles tendon injury can include redness and swelling surrounding the affected area, and it may be difficult to stand on tiptoes or to point and flex your foot. Mild relief can be found when the activity that caused this ailment is stopped, and it may be beneficial to elevate the leg which can help to reduce existing swelling. If you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood of Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor 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 Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries