Greek mythology includes many stories of heroes, and among them is the warrior Achilles. It was said that he could not be harmed, unless he was pierced in his one vulnerable spot—now known as the Achilles heel. The tendon that connects the calcaneus (heel bone) to the calf muscle is a vital part of the foot. When you move, your Achilles tendon is working on your behalf to propel you upward and forward.
Just like the mythological story of Achilles, an injury to this tendon will leave you feeling weak and unable to fend for yourself. Problems range from inflammation to a rupture, but no matter the severity of the condition, the outcome is reduced mobility and pain.
Are you a weekend athlete? Do you stand all day at work? If so, you are a prime candidate for pain in this area. Most people have heard the term tendonitis, which occurs when the affected tendon becomes inflamed after repeated stress and strain. Whether the excess pressure is due to exercise, improper footwear, poor structure of the foot, or prolonged time on your feet—the pain can affect your quality of life.
Many people attempt to ignore the discomfort that they are experiencing. Instead of actively addressing the foot condition, they continue with life as norm and endure unnecessary pain. Over time, the Achilles tendon begins to break down and to incur small tears. This is called tendonosis. Some people experience swelling of the area as the condition progresses.
A ruptured tendon can be career ending for some professional athletes. For those who stick to weekend play, hearing a popping sound followed by Achilles pain can be just as devastating in terms of time off from work. Typically the result of an injury, this discomfort can also occur from an increase in training and sports participation. Middle-aged men are more likely to rupture this tendon than any other group.
At Absolute Foot Care Specialists, we understand that being off of your feet will keep you off of the clock. That’s why it’s important to understand that most Achilles tendon injuries can be prevented. Listen to your feet, and give them a rest at the first sign of pain. Ignoring it will result in long-term concerns and unnecessary suffering. You will find that the sooner you seek medical advice concerning this condition, the more treatment options you will have to address it.
Tendon conditions are related to overuse, so rest is critical. Since this connecting tissue is a vital part of foot movement, a cast may be used to enforce its stationary position. Splints that are worn at night can help to keep the tendon stretched as you sleep, and home exercises are often recommended. Some patients have structural issues with their feet that aggravate this connecting tissue. In those cases, prescription orthotics are beneficial. A rupture may require surgery.
Problems with the Achilles tendon require immediate action, but you’re not alone. Drs. Levine, Biesinger, and Heller will walk you through the process of eliminating your tendon related pain now! Call one of our three Las Vegas locations, or request an appointment online.