The achilles tendon is named after the Greek hero who was impervious to damage all over his body except for the heel. He died as a result of an injury to the heel, specifically the tendon that now bears his name. When individuals find themselves with a torn achilles tendon, they most certainly do not die, but they are going to have to deal with the injury in order for it to heal properly.
The achilles tendon is easy to locate. It is the thick band that is found at the back of the heel and extends up to the calf muscles. The tendon controls the action of the foot, forwards and backwards, and plays an important role in the stride. When a tear occurs in the tendon, it is a serious issue because of its very function.
What causes a tear?
There are many ways to tear the tendon. They are:
- Overusing the leg, whether it be sports or a long day of walking.
- Wearing high heels too frequently or improper footwear in general.
- Fallen arches also known as flat feet or too much rolling of the foot during walking (overpronation).
- Not properly stretching before starting a strenuous exercise or ramping up a new exercise routine too quickly.
- Muscles and tendons that are too tight and not warmed up.
Symptoms of a torn achilles tendon
A torn achilles tendon has a few different symptoms that may or may not happen all at the same time. Generally, the individual feels pain above the heel at the back of the foot during stretching or while walking. Sometimes the achilles tendon pops with an audible noise when the injury occurs. Other symptoms include sensations of tenderness, swelling and stiffness.
It is important to go to the doctor’s as soon as possible when there is a suspected tear of the tendon. This is a vital tendon to quality of life, so getting it treated quickly is vital.
During the examination, the doctor is going to quiz the patient on how the injury occurred. She then goes through a physical manipulation of the area to see how bad the damage is and how much function is left. From there, the doctor determines how severe the injury is and prescribes how to heal it properly.
Coming Soon – Everything you ever wanted to know about your torn achilles tendon!