Description of Achilles Tendonitis

 

The Achilles tendon, the strongest and longest tendon in the human body, is located in the back of the lower leg joining calf muscles to the heel bone and connecting the leg muscles to the foot. In Achilles tendonitis, the Achilles tendon is swollen, irritated and inflamed, making it almost impossible to walk.

 

  1. Causes

    
  2. Achilles tendonitis is caused by overstressing the tendon or overuse (small tears over time) of the tendon. It can also develop when participating in physical sports activities that involve sudden starts, stops and repetitive jumping.

    Symptoms

  3. Symptoms include pain in the heel when running or walking. The skin area over the tendon may be warm, swollen and painful to touch.

    Diagnosis

  4. Diagnosing Achilles tendonitis may involve performing a physical examination, imaging tests (ultrasound, x-ray or MRI scan) and patient history to determine if and how damage to the tendon may have occurred.

    Treatment

  5. Discontinuing physical activity, resting the tendon, elevating the foot to minimize swelling, ice packs to reduce swelling, and firmly wrapping the foot and ankle with an elastic bandage are all forms of treatments used for Achilles tendonitis. Severe cases of Achilles tendonitis may require surgery to repair the tendon.

    Prevention

  6. Preventing Achilles tendonitis may require maintaining flexibility and strength in the calf muscles by proper conditioning and wearing appropriate footwear.

 

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