At the lower end of the calf, the two calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) join and become one long band of fibrous tissue known as the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon connects the calf with the heel and helps the foot bend. The Achilles tendon may become injured, torn, or ruptured during physical activities that involve sudden starts and stops, jumping or running. It can also occur during regular activities in people aged 40-64 who have diabetes, high cholesterol, or a problem with weight. A snapping, cracking, or popping sound may occur at the moment of injury or when pressure is applied to the damaged tendon. Other symptoms may include: pain, swelling, bruising, or stiffness in the back of the foot and tendon area—which can be worse upon waking or after exercise—a weakened leg, reduced mobility, or sensitivity to touch. If you suspect you may have injured your Achilles tendon, seek the care of a podiatrist to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact the foot specialists of NYC Foot & Ankle Center. 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 office located in New York . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.