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What is Achilles Tendon Injury?

What is the Achilles Tendon?
This tendon is located above the heel and is the lower portion of the calf. It is attached to the heel bone. Achilles tendon is important because it enables walking and turning, and athletic activities like running, sprinting and jumping.

What is Achilles Tendon Injury?
The most common injury to the Achilles tendon is tendinopathy caused by overuse. It is also called Achilles tendonitis. It is characterized by tendon degeneration which robs it of tensile strength and makes it vulnerable to rupture if sporting activity is continued.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Injury

  • Achilles pain and local tenderness
  • The tendon feels to be cracking or grating when moving it
  • Redness, heat or swelling around the affected point
  • The injured tendon may appear to be thicker compared to the normal one
  • You may not be able push up on your toes due to tendon weakness

Causes of Achilles Tendon Injury

  • Overuse: of the tendon during frequent jumping while playing basketball, netball or volleyball is a common cause. Increased workload during athletic activities such as track running or hill sprinting is another one. Athletes are particularly vulnerable when training in spikes.
  • Old Age: is another cause as it decreases our ability to restore and regenerate damaged tissues. But regular training can strengthen soft tissues like muscles, ligaments and tendons and keep them soft and supple even as we age.
  • Tight Calves: Tight calf muscles can cause injury as they reduce the ankle‚Äôs flexibility and increase the amount of pronation. This condition is called overpronation.
  • Ankle Instability: An unstable ankle joint can cause repeated ankle sprains and raise the risk of Achilles tendon injury.
  • Wearing Bad Shoes: Ill-fitting shoes that do not provide good support to your feet is another major cause.

Prevention
Do exercises that promote stability and balance. Develop strong hip and abdominal muscles as they can increase control at the leg joints. Do not increase your training workload in a hurry, but ramp it up gradually and steadily. Athletes and sportspersons should wear shoes that provide good support and comfort to their heels and feet. Do not be stingy and postpone buying new sports footwear. Junk the old ones at the first signs of wear and tear, and buy comfortable new footwear regularly to stay healthy.

Treatment for Achilles Tendon Injury
Follow the PRICE regimen to treat this condition:

  • Protection
  • Rest
  • Icing
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • You can also take painkillers to ease pain and inflammation.

Resource: http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/achilles-tendon-injuries-a-full-guide-to-causes-symptoms-prevention-techniques-and-treatments-41361

For more information about Achilles tendon injury, please watch this video:

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