The tendon is a connective tissue that attaches muscles to the bones. And the largest tendon in our body is the Achilles tendon. This is no surprise since the Achilles tendon is responsible for supporting most of the heavy movements in our foot. Which makes it a perfect candidate for injuries especially for athletes.
The Achilles tendon allows us to lift our heel when walking, running or almost every movement in our foot. This is why any injury to our Achilles tendon can have a direct affect in our movements. A visit to a podiatrist can help identify if you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis. Dr. Paul Klein is a podiatrist who specializes in helping people suffering from Achilles tendonitis and other foot disorders.
The inflammation of the Achilles tendon is called Achilles tendonitis. This inflammation is usually the result of overworking the foot or placing too much stress on your Achilles tendon.
Signs and symptoms
- Pain at the back of the heel
- Difficulty in walking or running
- Achilles tendon is swollen, tender and warm
- Mild. Pain at the Achilles tendon only occurs during an activity or immediately after a few minutes.
- Moderate. Swelling of the tendon occurs and sometimes, there is a formation of a hard lump or nodule.
- Severe. Any type of activities, even simple ones that involves weight bearing will elicit pain from the Achilles tendon. There are also rare cases wherein the tendon may rupture or tear. When this happens, you will feel a "hard whack" on your heel.
Overuse of the Achilles tendon which lead to development of small tendon tears
- Foot problems such as flat feet or hyper-pronated feet which turns inward while walking
- Wearing shoes such as high heels and those with minimal support
- Overweight and obesity, since this adds more pressure to your Achilles tendon
- Intake of quinolone antibiotics since it may be linked to tenosynovitis
- Medical history which will include the type of footwear you normally use as well as your regular activities and exercise habits
- Physical examination done by your doctor to see tenderness and swelling of your Achilles tendon
- Imaging tests such as x-ray, ultrasound, and MRI scan of your tendon
- Blood tests may also be done to check for inflammatory conditions