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Achilles Tendon - Symptoms and Treatment


The Achilles tendon or the calcaneal tendon is a tendon of the posterior leg. It serves to attach the gastrocnemius (calf) and soleus muscles to the calcaneus (heel) bone. It allows extension of your foot downward, away from your body, which lets your heel lift off the ground as you move forward when walking. Every time you take a step you rely on your Achilles tendon. Sometimes called the heel cord, it is the largest tendon in the human body. When the calf muscles contract, the Achilles tendon is tightened, pulling the heel. This allows you to point your foot and stand on tiptoe. It is vital to such activities as walking, running, and jumping. A complete tear through the tendon, which usually occurs about 2 inches above the heel bone, is called an Achilles tendon rupture. The achilles tendon can become inflamed through overuse as well as a number of contributory factors. The Achilles tendon has a poor blood supply which is why it is slow to heal. Acute achilles tendinotis may happen as a result of overuse or training too much, too soon especially on hard surfaces or up hills.

Achilles tendonitis is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common overuse injury that tends to occur in middle-age recreational athletes. This inflammation is typically short-lived. Over time the condition usually progresses to a degeneration of the tendon (Achilles tendonosis), in which the tendon loses its organized structure and is likely to develop microscopic tears. Sometimes the degeneration involves the site where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. Posterior Achilles tendon bursitis is often associated with formation of a spur called Haglund's deformity or "pump bump" on the heel bone. Anterior Achilles tendon bursitis is also called Albert's disease.

Causes of Achilles Tendon

The common Causes of Achilles Tendon :

  • Lack of flexibility.
  • Overuse.
  • Excessive running up hill or down hill.
  • A sudden increase in the amount of exercise, e.g. running for a longer distance.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendon

Some common Symptoms of Achilles Tendon :

  • Swelling over the Achilles tendon.
  • Redness over the skin.
  • Tender to touch.
  • Limited range of motion and stiffness .

 

 


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