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Posts for tag: Achilles tendon

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 15, 2018
Category: Ankle Injury

An inflammation or injury to the Achilles tendon can severely limit your ability to walk, run and participate in daily activities for work and play. This large tendon connects your heel bone and your calf muscle and aids in lifting your heel off the ground. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we’d like to offer the following do’s and don’ts to help patients protect the Achilles tendon:

Don’t: overdo it--the most common cause of inflammation of the tendon is overuse. A sudden increase in the duration and/or intensity of a repetitive activity involving the tendon can lead to pain, soreness and tenderness in the tendon. These would include running, stair climbing and running hills as well as doing sprints which require you to push off with force.

Do: stretch and warm up—taking the time to stretch your calf muscles before and after working out or playing a sport can greatly reduce the risk of injury to the Achilles tendon.

Do: check the condition of your sports shoes. If your shoes are worn out they may no longer be providing the support necessary to your arch and heel which can cause inflammation of the tendon.

Don’t: ignore Achilles symptoms—pain first thing in the morning, pain and tenderness that increases with activity, sluggishness or a feeling of tiredness in your lower leg, difficulty stretching the Achilles tendon or walking and extreme pain when the sides of the tendon is squeezed are all signs of Achilles overuse and micro tears that are causing damage to the tissue. In more advanced cases of Achilles tendinosis, nodules may form as well. At the first sign of Achilles discomfort, you should contact us at 732-662-3050 and make an appointment at our offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, NJ. Our podiatrists, Dr. Ben (Varun) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will examine your feet and lower legs and determine the best course of treatment to repair tendon damage and prevent future injury.

Do: talk to the foot doctor about Achilles injury risk if you have flat feet. Being flat footed puts additional strain on your Achilles tendon. Patients with this condition may need shoes with additional arch support or a custom orthotic device to wear in the shoes to counteract the effects of a low or non-existent arch.

To learn more about Achilles tendon issues and treatment options, contact us today. 

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 04, 2018
Category: Achilles Tendon

As the days finally begin to get warmer and spring makes a somewhat belated appearance, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care know that many of our patients will see this as the perfect opportunity to start a new outdoor fitness program. This means we will likely be seeing a rash of injuries due to inappropriate preparation and unsound exercise regimens. One part of the lower extremity that is particularly vulnerable to these types of scenarios is your Achilles tendon.

Sources of Injury

Your Achilles tendon is a long band of tissue that runs down the back of your lower leg connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. It helps to raise the heel off the ground and makes walking possible. The Achilles tendon is the largest and one of the strongest tendons in the body. It can tolerate forces of 1,000 pounds or more. It is also the most commonly injured tendon.

Issues involving the Achilles tendon include:

  • Tendonitis—the inflammation of the tendon
  • Tendonosis—the progression to degeneration of the tendon characterized by microscopic tears
  • Rupture—a partial or complete tear of the tendon

All of these types of injuries are caused by overuse and sudden force applied to the tendon. Some common reasons for Achilles tendon issues include:

  • Over-zealous exercise-if you attempt to go from couch potato to track star overnight without gradually building up stamina and muscle, you are setting the scene for an Achilles injury
  • Not stretching or warming up adequately before and after exercise
  • Hill running and stair climbing
  • Trauma to the tendon from a very hard or sudden contraction of the calf muscles, which could result from a sprint or a sudden start
  • Wearing inappropriate footwear for the activity you are doing or for your feet--patients that tend to overpronate are more likely to sustain an Achilles injury

Signs of Achilles Trouble

Symptoms of Achilles tendon issues may start out as mild pain or stiffness along the tendon after running or exercising but will steadily progress to severe pain. Swelling, morning tenderness and sluggishness in your lower leg may also be present. Any recurring pain in the tendon area should be evaluated by our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah. There are several treatment options available but it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid possible long-term consequences to the tendon. If you are experiencing ongoing pain or stiffness in your Achilles tendon, contact our New Jersey offices today in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling: 732-662-3050.