Posts for tag: stretching

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.