The Achilles tendon is the biggest tendon in our body. It is a vital tendon as it is used when we walk, jump, run or do activities that involve our feet. It can endure a huge amount of tension and stress brought about by these activities. However, it is susceptible to being inflamed. This is brought about by excessive use and deterioration and is known as tendonosis. Sportsmen commonly manifest Achilles tendonosis.
Achilles Tendonosis — Signs and Symptoms
The most ordinary sign is discomfort and pain that can be anywhere from a dull twinge to piercing prickly pains. Walking and climbing the stairs may be difficult. The pain will be more forceful as it aggravates and occurrences will be more frequent. More than a few minutes of movement will make it better but will recur after a few minutes of rest. An area of the Achilles will normally be tender and puffed-up.
The Achilles tendon can tolerate forces that are 12 times your body weight in certain activities. However, abrupt increase in walking, hiking, running miles or jumping can aggravate the Achilles. This can lead to Achilles tendonosis.
Damage varies from mild inflammation to total rupture. Ice, over-the-counter drugs and rest can relieve the inflammation and tenderness if the tendon is simply swollen. However, direct treatment may be required if the pain did not subside and has stayed on for a few weeks.
Achilles Tendonosis — Causes
The Achilles tendon can chafe with activities like jumping or doing quick steps when playing tennis or basketball. Running puts a lot of stress on your Achilles. Additional increase in pace will definitely injure the tendon. The same thing happens when running on hilly areas. Plyometrics likewise give a huge quantity of stress and force on the Achilles; thus, it must be avoided if the tendon is swollen.
Achilles Tendonosis – Treatment
The swelling can be reduced with ice and rest. It similarly promotes healing. Supplementary treatment is necessary if the tendon fails to react to this treatment. This may consist of ultrasound, electric therapy, and proprioceptive therapy.
Stretching the hamstrings and the calves may relax the Achilles tendon, as this will minimize the strain and pressure. Activities will have to be modified as well to lessen the stress on the Achilles. Exercises to augment the strength of the foot arch muscles will likewise be useful. The use of orthotics is similarly good, as it will give extra support to the arch of the foot.
Preventing injury to the Achilles
Injury to the Achilles can be prevented by wearing good quality footwear, gradually escalating activities, stretching and cross training. Those with a history of Achilles problems must take moderate exercises and training schemes.
Ignoring the pain may lead to bigger problems and damage the Achilles. To prevent small Achilles injury to getting big, immediate treatment is needed and a professional chiropractor is the answer.