What are Achilles Tendon Problems?

Achilles Tendon is the part of the foot that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It’s what pushes you off when you walk or run. It’s what lets you rise up on your toes when you tiptoe. Sometimes, problems can occur in this body part. Here are some of those that you would want to know about.

What are the Common Problems with the Achilles Tendon?
The two primary problems with this part of the body are Achilles Tendinopathy and Achilles Tendon Tear or Rupture.

• Achilles Tendinopathy includes two conditions called Tendinitis and Tendinosis.
– Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon.
– Tendinosis is degeneration of tendon by tiny tears caused by excessive use.
In most cases, the pain felt in the Achilles tendon is caused by tendinosis and not tendinitis.

• Achilles Tendon Tear or Rupture occurs when the tendon partially or completely tears.
– A partial tear brings about mild or no symptoms.
– A rupture or complete tear can cause great pain as well as loss of strength and movement.
These problems usually occur suddenly but are caused by the tiny tears to the tendon that have taken place over time.

What Causes These Problems?
– Physical Activity
Overuse and repeated movements are the most common causes of Achilles tendon problems. Movements that happen during work, sports, and other physical activities can result in micro tears in the tendon that can worsen over time. For instance, if you’re an athlete and you do a lot of stop-and-go motions when you play sports, your tendon is subjected to tiny tears. Some of these tears heal quickly while others do not.

– Physical Inactivity
Another prevalent cause of this health problem is physical inactivity. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle doing sudden physical workout can experience problems with his/her Achilles tendon.

– No Warming Up
Not warming up before exercising is another cause.

– Bad Shoes
Shoes that do not provide proper arch support or have rigid heels can also bring about this ailment.

– Middle Age
Now, Achilles tendon rupture is usually caused by sudden forceful motion that puts great pressure on the calf muscle. This often happens during a sporting activity. People who are in the middle age are often the victims of this problem. Tendons that are already weakened due to microtears and inflammation are more likely to rupture.

What are the Symptoms?
– Partial Rupture
The usual symptoms of problems with the Achilles tendon are swelling in the ankle area and pain. Pain can be mild to severe depending on the gravity of the injury. It can also build up gradually or strike suddenly. The person also experiences less strength and difficulty in moving.

– Complete Rupture
Achilles tendon rupture causes sudden sharp pain. Sometimes, a person would hear a pop when this happens. Swelling, bruising, and inability to put your foot down are other signs that you have ruptured Achilles tendon.

How are these Treated?
– Partial Rupture
For mild problems, treatment is as simple as rest, over-the-counter pain medications, and stretching exercises. Doctor may also advise wearing of properly cushioned shoes.

– Complete Rupture
For severe problems, surgery or a cast, splint, brace or other device may be in order. Physical therapy or a rehab problem may also be recommended by the doctor.

Damaged tendons may take weeks or months to heal.

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