Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. It is the attachment of the calf muscle to the heel. There are actually two different muscle groups within the calf muscle. This helps to support the full weight of our bodies. Although the tendon is quite strong, it can get inflamed with the slightest movement that catches it off guard. Has you been feeling pain behind the ankle at the end of the day or after doing certain activities? Does it stop you from going hard in the gym or running while playing sports? Read on to know what to do?
What causes Achilles tendon pain?
Repetitive strain with sporting activities
Activities like jumping and running strain the tendon. If the tendon is not stretched and strengthened with specific exercises, it can get inflamed.
Untreated ankle sprain
Have you sprained your ankle a few times but not seen a physio? If your ankle is still painful with certain activities, it puts the achilles tendon under tremendous strain. Over a priod of time this will injure it causing pain.
Long standing plantar fasciitis
If you haven’t see a Physio or a podiatrist to treat your plantar fasciitis, it will affect your tendon. This is due to the change in the normal gait putting pressure on it. Abnormal walking over a period of time causes heel pain.
Direct trauma to the tendon
Stepping off a curb suddenly or having a fall while playing sports will definitely cause a tear in the tendon. You will not be able to put weight on your foot. As a result of which you will not be able to walk on it.
Treatment for Achilles tendon pain
Ice is the first step following achilles tendon pain. Followed by raising the foot and bandaging it to reduce swelling. It’s very important to see a Physio to prevent a tendon rupture. A Physiotherapist will assess the extent of the injury and advice on do’s and dont’s. You will get a recovery timeframe and graded exercises to strengthen the achilles tendon again. The goal of treatment is ofcourse to get you back to your pre injury activity levels as soon as possible.
However, if there’s a complete rupture of the tendon, surgery is usually recommended. Or depending upon the extent of the tear, there will be a period of immobilization in a moon boot.