In simple terms, a tendon is a cord that connects a muscle to the bone and enables the bone movement during the contraction of the muscle. The Achilles tendon is one such tendon that connects your leg calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is very strong and can withstand high stress and pressure on the leg, caused by physical activities such as running and jumping.
However, just like any other tendon, the Achilles tendon can be torn or ruptured, from a sudden fall or while playing sports such as high jump, squash, or badminton.
This article discusses the causes and symptoms of Achilles tendon problems and when one must opt for Achilles tendon treatment procedure.
Intensive physical activities such as running and jumping can result in the inflammation of the Achilles Tendon, a condition which is referred to Achilles tendonitis (or tendinitis).
Other than excessive or improper exercises, tendonitis can be caused by the following reasons:
- Lack of warmup before exercising
- Playing sports like lawn tennis and squash, which require sudden stops and change in direction.
- Sudden increase in physical activities without giving time for your body to adjust
- Wearing improperly fitting shoes
- Wearing high heels through the day
- Weakening of the Achilles tendon due to old age
Following an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, you will find it difficult to move your feet or heel or in climbing stairs. Listed below are some symptoms of Achilles tendon tear:
- Inability to stand on your toes
- Feeling of weakness in your legs
- A crack or popping sound when putting pressure on your legs
- Swelling in the leg or around the heel
Among the main symptoms of Achilles tendonitis is an experience of severe pain and swelling in the rear part of your heel during walking or running. Additional symptoms include:
- Tightening of your calf muscles
- Limited motion when you try to flex your foot
- Overly warming of the skin on your heel
Achilles tendon treatment methods
Depending on the severity of the injury, Achilles tendon problems can be treated with a variety of treatment methods including home remedies, anti-inflammatory medication, or repair surgeries for tendonitis procedure at the many specialized hospitals in India.
One of the effective treatment methods used right after you have sustained the injury is the Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (or RICE method), comprising of the following steps:
- Resting, which requires that you do not put any pressure on your Achilles tendon for a couple of days until you do not feel any tendon pain and can walk on the tendon.
- Icing, which requires holding a bag filled with ice on your tendon area for at least 15-20 minutes. This is effective in reducing the swelling faster.
- Compressing, which involves wrapping a bandage or clothing tightly around your tendon, in order to compress the injury.
- Elevating, which involves foot elevation by keeping it on a pillow or any soft raised surface.
You are advised to seek the advice of medical specialists to know the level of Achilles tendon problem and the right treatment method.