Aging and the Achilles Tendon

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achilles tendon 2The Achilles tendon is known to be the largest tendon in the body. It connects the heel to the calf muscles and is responsible for allowing the foot to point and flex. There are several symptoms patients notice if this tendon should become torn. These often include extreme pain in the back of the ankle, swelling, bruising, or a popping sound as the injury happens. It is common for the Achilles tendon to become weak as the aging process occurs, or if medical conditions such as diabetes or arthritis exist. Additionally, this condition may occur if you fall unexpectedly or suddenly step off a curb. If you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you meet with a podiatrist who can discuss the best treatment options for you.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you are a podiatry practice looking to better market the foot and ankle medical care you offer, contact us at Podiatry Content Connection. We provide innovative solutions that bring more patients into your office and allow you to bestow medical care on more people.

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

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • 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

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