Are you experiencing pain behind your heels when you walk or doing impact exercises? That could be your Achilles tendon sending alerts to you! First, let me explain to you what Achilles tendon is.
What is Achilles tendon?
The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the body. It attaches the calf muscles (soleus and gastrocnemius) to the heel bone (calcaneus). The tendon transmits force from the contracting calf muscles to the calcaneus to cause the foot action of plantar flexion (foot pointed down) that is important in walking, running, jumping and change of direction activities. Tendons are very strong, but not very flexible, and the Achilles tendon is no exception. This means that the Achilles tendon can only stretch so far before it becomes inflamed (known as tendonitis) or tears.
Two common causes of Achilles tendon pain:
1. Achilles tendinitis
# Achilles tendonitis is an acute, inflammatory injury of the Achilles tendon that most commonly affects athletes, especially runners, or people who play sports that require lots of starting and stopping. Achilles tendinitis is typically not related to a specific injury. The problem results from repetitive stress to the tendon. This often happens when we push our bodies to do too much, too soon. Tendinitis should not last long, but it can turn into tendinosis if the damaged tendon starts to break down and get tiny tears.
2. Achilles tendinosis
Achilles tendinosis or tendinopathy refers to pain in and around the tendon in response to overuse in the presence of degenerative and disorganisation in collagen fibres
What can I do when I start to feel pain or injure my Achilles tendon?
There are numerous treatments involved with treating Achilles tendon pain, including activity modification, medication, physiotherapy. Physiotherapy often helps to relieve the pain and address your problem.
If you injure the area or feel pain in your Achilles, don’t push it. Use the “RICE” method to prevent any further damage: REST– try to take it easy, ICE to reduce inflammation and pain, COMPRESSION to prevent swelling, ELEVATION to improve blood flow on the injured area. Besides that, stretching your calf and plantar can help to elevate the pain at your Achilles tendon.
If it doesn’t work well, DO NOT WAIT, please talk to your doctor or physiotherapist.