Your Achilles tendon is a crucial member of your body when it comes to your mobility. The tendon pulling on the back of your heel bone is what makes it possible for you to point your foot and push off the ground. Because of all the daily strain on the tendon, however, it can be quite prone to overuse and even traumatic injuries. Overuse is the most common Achilles tendon issue. It develops when the connector is handling more than it is currently able to support. Typically, this happens when you try to do too much too soon, like jumping into activities or sports without conditioning your lower limbs first. It can also develop simply from not allowing your feet to have enough rest. Worse, the damage from overuse weakens the tissue overall and makes it more likely your Achilles will suffer traumatic damage later.
There are a few particularly common Achilles tendon injuries that result from either overuse or a sudden accident:
Often these common injuries are related. Tendonitis frequently morphs into tendinosis the longer it persists. Ruptures are also far more likely in an Achilles that has unresolved tendonitis/tendinosis issues. All in all, when you feel pain in your Achilles, it’s best to have the problem diagnosed and treated as soon as possible so the conditions don’t worsen.
Achilles tendon issues do not improve on their own. In fact, they will worsen unless something is done to treat the problem. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC, will examine your lower limbs carefully to identify the source of your discomfort and factors that might be making it worse. From there we will help you walk toward recovery. Exactly what you need will depend on your condition and how serious it is. For the majority of Achilles tendon injuries, however, the answer will be conservative treatment. You’ll most likely rest, stretch, and recondition your lower limbs. Icing might help with inflammation pain. Changing your shoes and using orthotics may be helpful for reducing strain on the tendon. Severe cases might require a short period of immobilization to allow the tendon time to repair itself without any stress. Complete ruptures, however, may need surgery to allow the torn ends to grow back together. Your Achilles is a major tendon that you need at its best to walk or otherwise move around comfortably. Fortunately, you never have to live with Achilles pain. The sooner you take care of the problem, the easier it will be to manage. Call Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC, for more information or use our online contact form.