Updated: Jul 30, 2020
In the myths, the warrior Achilles had only one weakness—the back of his heel—that proved to be his downfall. Nowadays, that same area, or rather the tendon named after him, can be a serious source of pain for you if you aren’t careful. Achilles tendon injuries are particularly common among athletes and other active people, though they can happen to anyone.
The Achilles is the largest tendon in your body, connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. It’s tough, slightly stretchy, and absolutely crucial for your ability to walk, run, jump, or otherwise push your foot off the ground. As a result, it handles a significant amount of strain and pressure every time it’s used.
All that strain, along with basic accidents, can contribute to some incredibly painful injuries that can sideline you for a while. Here are the most common Achilles injuries to watch for:
Tendonitis – This is a problem with inflammation from overuse in the tendon tissue. This can happen both where the tendon attaches to your heel bone and slightly higher up.
Tendinosis – This is a problem with degeneration in the Achilles. Over time, the damage causes thickening and swelling in the tendon that makes it more and more painful to use.
Tendon rupture – A strong enough force, particularly if your tendon is already weakened, can partially or completely tear your Achilles.
If you’re struggling with pain in the back of your foot or behind your ankle, particularly when you are active, you might have an Achilles tendon problem. The best way to find out, and to take care of it, is to get it accurately diagnosed. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC in Metairie, LA, is happy to help you identify not only the root cause of your pain, but the factors that might be making it worse. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment to take care of your Achilles now, before it gets worse! You can reach us online, or by calling (504) 708-4810.