Heel Pain and Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heels, and despite it being strong, it is not especially flexible. This tendon has a small amount of room to move and an injury can cause it to stretch beyond its normal limits. The noticeable symptoms when the Achilles tendon stretches too far are inflammation, irritation, heel pain, and it is often difficult to walk. People who run and increase speed and distance too quickly may be prone to incurring an Achilles tendon injury, and it is beneficial to perform specific stretches to loosen up this tendon before starting a run. This type of injury may also happen from training in cold weather, having poor running form, or having flat feet. A patient may often seek advice from a podiatrist to find relief from the severe pain this type of injury can cause. An X-ray can be performed that can rule out a fractured bone. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can successfully treat an Achilles tendon injury. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Kenneth H. Nixon, DPM of Western Reserve Foot Clinic. 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

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