The Achilles tendon attaches at your heal and ends at your calf muscle. It is located in a place that is quite visible at the rear of your foot. It enables the foot to point and flex.
An Achilles tendon injury might be caused by extended use or extreme increases in physical exercise, shoe imbalances such as boots or high heels, foot injuries such as fallen arches, overtight muscles, and other issues related to a healthy foot. It is most common in performance based sports such as dancing and gymnastics, sports that rely on stop and go movements such as football, baseball, tennis, and basketball, and sports that require repetitive movement such as running. The most likely time to get an Achilles injury is during a sudden stop or start such as a quick pivot in football or the beginning of a race for a sprinter.
Typically, tendinitis is the culprit related to Achilles injuries. This causes the Achilles tendon to become painful and tender which put it at greater risk for injury. In extreme cases, the tendon can even separate or rupture causing severe pain quickly. In less severe cases, the pain in the foot can still be difficult to manage, even when the ankle is stretched. Often swelling, stiffness, tenderness, and a popping sound in the ankle accompany an Achilles injury.
While most Achilles injuries heal on their own, your doctor can provide advice to improve the level of comfort related to the healing process. Be aware that some severe Achilles injuries may require a cast or surgery to aid in the healing process. Ice and rest are quite important in the healing process. Avoidance of using the leg to support weight can also aid in the healing process, crutches may be necessary if the injury is severe enough. Compression is utilized to reduce swelling along with elevation above the heart. Drugs to reduce swelling are beneficial such as NSAIDs and anti-inflammatory applications. Only use medications after consulting your doctor. Heel lifts or inserts can aid in reducing pressure on the base of your foot during recovery. When able and advised by your doctor to do so, utilize stretching and strength exercises to improve foot flexibility.