If you hear a crackling sound when you move your ankle, experience stiffness or minor pain in the area above the heel, or feel heel pain when walking uphill or climbing stairs, you may have a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. Being overweight, lacking flexibility, and weakened calf muscles are thought to be contributing factors to this inflammation. Activities that call for sudden starts and stops, or abrupt changes in direction can also aggravate the tendon. If you have flat feet, you may be at further risk as well. Preventative measures include wearing proper footwear with adequate support, maintaining strong leg and calf muscles, and stretching especially prior to activity. If the pain continues, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist who can examine your heel and offer an appropriate treatment plan.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Arthur Segall, Jr., DPM of Segall Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?
There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.
Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
- Total immobility
Treatment and Prevention
Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:
- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Plantation, Ft. Lauderdale, and Margate, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.