The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body – and yet it is very vulnerable to injury. Read on for information about this important tendon and how you can avoid an Achilles tendon injury.
What is the Achilles tendon?
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel, and it is essential to movement of the leg, whether you are a star athlete or you are just doing chores around the house. An Achilles tendon injury can mean anything from tears in the fibers to inflammation of the tendon and the tissue surrounding it to a complete rupture, where the fibers are completely broken.
An Achilles tendon injury can happen when you are playing an intense sport, one that requires rapid changes in direction, for example, but it can also be the result of just putting your foot down the wrong way.
There are a few things you can do to try to prevent an Achilles tendon injury:
• Stay healthy. Stay in good physical shape and at a healthy weight.
• Warm up. Before you exercise, make sure your muscles are properly warmed up and ready to go.
• Don’t go hard core too fast. Build up the intensity of your exercise gradually.
• Watch your step. Avoid exercising on uneven or hard surfaces, such as concrete.
• Wear the right shoes. This is especially important when exercising.
If you’ve seriously injured your tendon, such as with a rupture of the tendon, you will be in pain immediately. There may be pain in your heel, ankle, and/or calf. Your heel may start to swell, and you may not be able to stand on your toes or point your toes. You should see your doctor right away. Most Achilles injuries don’t require surgery (although that is an option) – treatment might include rest, stretching exercises, and/or a heel lift to help reduce strain on the tendon.
You may know right away if you have a serious Achilles tendon injury, but there are other Achilles tendon injuries that aren’t as obvious. If you think you’ve injured your Achilles tendon, contact Sports Occupational and Knee Surgery in San Antonio, TX. Call (210) 696-9000 for an appointment today!