Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rachel N. Verville
January 30, 2017
The Achilles tendon, which runs from your calf muscles to your heels, is one of the longest tendons in the body. It’s no wonder that it’s prone to injuries! Many Frisco patients see Dr. Verville for Achilles tendon pain and injuries every year. But, what causes these injuries in the first place? And is there anything you can do to prevent yourself from injuring your Achilles tendon?
Causes of Achilles Tendon Injuries.
Two of the leading causes of Achilles tendon injuries are overuse or pushing yourself too hard at sports. This is especially common for athletes like runners, gymnasts, dancers and those who play football, baseball, softball, basketball, tennis or volleyball. While you may want to step up your game, doing so can leave you prone to injuries that can put you on the sidelines for weeks, if not months. For Frisco athletes, it’s highly recommended that you slowly increase the intensity of your workouts or games so that you don’t put too much stress on your Achilles tendon.
Another common cause of Achilles tendon injuries is wearing high heels. While stilettos may be fashionable, they’re dangerous for your feet. Forcing your feet into an unnatural position for hours at a time – and putting the weight of your body on your feet in this awkward position – can cause damage to your Achilles tendon. Rather than wearing high heels, Dr. Verville suggests you find some cute, supportive flats that coordinate well with any outfit.
Sometimes, problems with the shape of your feet can also damage your Achilles tendon. This is particularly the case for those who have flat feet, or fallen arches. When you have fallen arches, the way that you step causes your foot to collapse, stretching your muscles and tendons in an unnatural way.
Finally, a lack of stretching before performing physical activity can cause damage to your Achilles tendon. If you are performing any physical activity, especially the sports listed above, it is recommended that you fully stretch out your body, especially your calf muscles before you get in the game.
What Does an Achilles Tendon Injury Feel Like?
For Frisco patients, a damaged Achilles tendon can be very painful. The pain can range from the pain that you feel when your foot is in certain positions, such as when you are stretching your ankle or standing on your toes, to severe pain that you feel constantly. Achilles tendon injuries can also cause tenderness, swelling and make it extremely painful for you to point your toes.
How Can You Recover from Your Achilles Tendon Injury?
Most Frisco patients who damage their Achilles tendon are able to recover with rest and relaxation. You can also ice your foot, keep pressure off your foot by using crutches and wear a compression bandage to reduce swelling. Sometimes, however, Achilles tendon injuries are severe, and may require surgery to correct.
If you think you’ve damaged your Achilles tendon, it’s best that you take care of the injury right away before it gets worse. Contact Frisco area podiatrist Dr. Verville at RNV Podiatry for a full examination and treatment plan. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Verville today by calling (214) 385-8822.