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What is Achilles Tendinopathy?

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition characterized by pain, swelling, and stiffness in the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This condition often results from overuse, particularly in athletes and individuals who engage in repetitive activities such as running or jumping. It can also arise from a sudden increase in physical activity, wearing poor footwear, or biomechanical issues like flat feet. The pain associated with Achilles tendinopathy usually starts as a mild ache above the heel or in the back of the leg, worsening with activity. The condition can range from mild inflammation to more severe degeneration of the tendon fibers. Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests, such as ultrasound or MRI scans to assess the extent of the damage. Treatment options include rest, targeted exercises, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, surgery may be required to repair the tendon. Preventative measures include proper warm-up routines, wearing appropriate footwear, and gradually increasing the intensity of physical activity. If you experience symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment to see a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Kimberly Woodard, DPM of Pinnacle Foot and Ankle Centers, LLC . 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 Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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