Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and it runs along the back of your leg and connects the calf muscles to your heel bone. The tendon makes it possible for you to walk, run, jump, and go up and down stairs — basically every activity that requires the use of the legs is made possible by your Achilles tendon. Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include stiffness in the back of the legs (along the path of the tendon) in the morning, pain that gets worse with activity, and pain after exercising.
The Achilles tendon may become irritated and inflamed due to several reasons.
The most common cause of Achilles tendinitis is overusing the tendon. It could be due to a sudden intensity or frequency in an activity that your Achilles tendon was not properly conditioned for, resulting in micro-tears to the tendon.
To avoid this, you should give your body ample time to adjust to higher levels of activity. If not, it could lead to the degeneration of the Achilles tendon. As your Achilles tendon becomes weaker, it becomes very easy to tear. To be on the safe side, increase intensity and duration of physical activities gradually and watch out for any signs of pain or soreness.
Lack of Support
Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support can also lead to Achilles tendinitis. It could be due to lack of arch support due to flat insoles or due to worn-out shoes, which can stress your Achilles tendon. Ease the stress on your Achilles tendon by wearing the appropriate shoes for the specific activity you are doing, which means walking shoes for walking, trainers for training, and running shoes for running.
There is an increase in the number of patients with tendinitis during the colder months because in cooler temperatures, muscles have to be warmed up and conditioned longer to get them ready for activity.
Oftentimes, tight calf muscles are responsible for Achilles tendinitis injuries. It is recommended that calf muscles be loosened before any activity through warm ups to reduce stress on the Achilles tendon.
High arches or flat feet may also predispose you to Achilles tendinitis injuries since there is greater stress placed on the Achilles tendon. Custom orthotics can usually help stabilize the feet and legs and prevent excessive strain on the Achilles tendon.
The best thing you can do to prevent reinjury and a weakening of the Achilles tendon that makes it susceptible to a rupture is to see an orthopedic doctor that specializes in podiatry. A podiatrist can point out signs of a weak Achilles tendon and help you exercise or participate in sports in a safe way.
Podiatrists in Naples, Florida
For Achilles tendon injury diagnosis and treatment by an experienced team of orthopedic specialists, look no further than the Joint Replacement Institute. Our foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Jaime Weaver, can treat the full spectrum of foot and ankle issues, from simple to complex.
To schedule a consultation with one of our experts, call us at (239) 261-2663 or send an appointment request today. Our staff looks forward to serving you in our state-of-the-art facility in Naples.