Experiencing Achilles tendon pain while running can be quite uncomfortable, and preventing injuries is essential. The Achilles tendon connects the major calf muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus, to the back of the heel bone. When it is subjected to excessive stress, it tightens and is forced to work too hard. This can lead to irritation or inflammation, which is commonly referred to as Achilles tendinitis. Over time, scar tissue, which is less flexible than the tendon, can develop on it. If the inflamed Achilles tendon continues to endure stress, it may tear or rupture, resulting in an Achilles heel injury. To address Achilles pain during running, the first step is to stop running when you feel discomfort. It is important to rest and seek professional advice from a podiatrist to assess the condition of your lower leg. Continuing to run with Achilles pain can potentially worsen the injury. If you are experiencing Achilles pain from running, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact the foot specialists of Marvel Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?
There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.
Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
- Total immobility
Treatment and Prevention
Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:
- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses