About Achilles Tendon

Achilles tendon structure and Achilles tendinitis treatment
The Achilles tendon is a long tendon that connects the heel with calf muscles. The function of the Achilles tendon is simple but crucial: it allows you to extend your foot and point your toes to the floor.

Common Causes of Achilles Tendon Injury

  • Repetitive stress caused by overuse
  • Not increasing physical activity slowly – quick and tremendous stress
  • Not enough stretching and warming up before exercise
  • Wearing high heels
  • Feet problems like flat feet. It leads to disposition of pressure on the foot.
  • Too tight muscles/tendons in the foot.

Leg muscles

Muscles of the right leg, posterior view

m. gastrocnemius caput mediale
m. gastrocnemius caput laterale
m. soleus (calf muscle)

Normal
Achilles tendon

Do you know that the Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest one in the body?

Do you know that during walking the Achilles tendon can withstand a stress load 3.9 times exceeding your body weight?

Calcaneal tendon (Achilles)

Achilles injuries

Here’s the list of the most common injuries of the Achilles tendon:

Tenosynovitis

Tendon’s tissue sheath becomes inflamed, swollen, and hot

Tendon rupture

It occurs when the Achilles tendon is completely or partially torn. Also, tendon rupture may be caused by medication side effects, laceration or crushing.

Tendinosis (tendonitis)

Degeneration and inflammation of the Achilles lead to its partial breakdown or even tears (in chronic cases).

How to Treat Achilles Tendon Conditions

In case of tendonitis or tendinosis

  • Stop doing physical or any other activity that causes your Achilles tendon to ache. Get some rest.
  • Gentle stretches are a daily must
  • Be proactive and strengthen your Achilles tendon with calf raises
  • Try physical therapy
  • Keep your Achilles tendon cold with ice. Apply a pack of ice every time after exercising or physical therapy.

In case of tendon rupture or laceration

  • Do not do anything that causes pain. Get some rest and forget about stretching and exercising – it will have a negative impact on the tendon.
  • Surgery. If you have a complete rupture of the tendon, surgery is needed.

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