The Achilles tendon is the strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. When you either completely or partially rupture your Achilles tendon, you might hear a ‘pop’, followed by a sudden sharp pain in the back of your ankle and lower leg. This condition affects people who often play recreational sports but can also affect anyone. In this article, we review its causes and tell you why you should see a professional who specializes in Achilles tendon in Westfield.
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Causes of Achilles Tendon Injury
The main function of your Achilles tendon is to enable you to rise on your toes, point your foot downwards, and push off your foot as you walk. Most Achilles tendon ruptures are usually caused by a sudden stress during such activities or when you:
- Fall from an extreme height
- Increase the intensity of your sports participation, especially in sports that involve jumping
- Suddenly step into a hole.
Risk Factors of Achilles Tendon Rupture
The following are some of the major factors that may increase your risk of Achilles tendon rupture:
- Recreational sports – Achilles tendon injuries are common to people playing sports that involve frequent running, jumping, and sudden starts and stops, such as soccer, basketball, and tennis.
- Age – Most cases of Achilles tendon rupture are common in people aged between 30-40 years.
- Obesity – Excess weight puts more strain on your tendon.
- Sex – Achilles tendon rupture is more likely to occur in men than in women by 5 times.
- Steroid injections – In order to minimize inflammation and pain, doctors may inject you with steroids into your ankle joint but this tends to weaken your nearby tendons.
- Medication – Certain fluoroquinolone antibiotics tend to increase your chances of getting an Achilles tendon rupture.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Injury
Despite the fact that you can have zero symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture, most people usually experience the following signs:
- Severe pain and swelling near the heel
- A snapping or popping sound when the Achilles tendon raptures
- Trouble when standing on the toes on the injured leg
- Excessive pain in the injured calf
- Inability to push off of your leg when walking or pointing your foot downwards
It is advisable to seek any medical treatment if you experience any pains in your heel, especially if have trouble walking properly afterward.
How to Prevent Achilles Tendon Rupture
The following are some easy to follow tips that can significantly reduce your chances of developing Achilles tendon problems:
- Dress properly for cold-weather training and always wear well-fitting athletic shoes with proper cushioning in the heels.
- Alternate your high-impact sports with low-impact sports.
- Avoid any activity that causes stress on your Achilles tendon, such as hill running.
- Frequently practice some calf-strengthening exercises to help your muscles and tendon absorb more force when exposed to injury.
- Gradually adjust your training intensity to avoid Achilles tendon injuries.
Contact an Achilles Tendon Specialist Today
For any of your Achilles tendon problems, you should consult with the highly skilled and experienced orthopedic team from Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine. Through their minimally invasive treatments and use of regenerative medicine, you will effectively relieve your Achilles tendon pain. Schedule an appointment online or contact their offices at 908-588-2311 today to learn more.