Achilles Injuries

Achilles injuries most commonly occur in the running athlete who is trying to increase the intensity of their workouts and in the higher impact athlete such as basketball players. This impact that is created at the foot/ankle becomes too much stress for the body to handle. When your foot hits the ground it should initially act as a “shock absorber” in order to minimize the stress to the joints of the lower body.

When the foot is unable to accomplish this task there is excess strain put on the Achilles tendon that can cause irritation or a rupturing/tearing to that tendon.


About The Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is a thick piece of soft tissue that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. When the tendon is irritated causing pain it is known as Achilles tendinitis. This problem can typically be treated with anti inflammatories and physical therapy. A ruptured or torn Achilles tendon may be treated initially with surgical intervention or immobilization (which consists of the lower leg being put in a special boot for a prolonged period of time. Physical therapy will occur after surgery or immobilization once the tendon is sufficiently healed. The PT treatment will consist of exercises to restore normal strength, mobility, and function to the injured leg.

Avoiding Achilles Injuries Is Important

In order to avoid these types of Achilles injuries it is important to perform particular exercises that will minimize the stress to the foot/ankle. Stretching exercises to the calf as well as your hip musculature is important in keeping the joints of your leg mobile. Strengthening exercises to the buttocks muscles of the hip and the muscles surrounding the lower leg will help minimize the stress to the ankle during higher impact activities. If these exercise strategies do not help with preventing or decreasing your pain it is important that you see a healthcare provider that can properly assist you.

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