Walking, running, jumping, or any other foot action can be done because the calf muscles contract to lift the heel by a tendon that begins at the middle portion of the calf and joins the heel. This particular tendon is known as the Achilles tendon and without it, all aspects of mobility of the legs would be next to impossible. It is the strongest tendon in the body and contrary to popular notion, an injury to the Achilles tendon is not fatal. However, if not treated properly the damage can be permanent, and in athletes, this can be the end of their careers. Other than athletes, old people and people with previous incidences of tear and rapture are susceptible to tendon injury. Even people who are overactive, placing undue stress on the heel, and those using quinolone injections can also develop injury in the Achilles tendon. However, the good news is that with proper care and rest, this injury can be cured. For this, you should identify the cause of the injury as well as know the various treatment options available to facilitate effective healing. To help you in this read the article given below on the various causes and treatment of the Achilles tendon injury.
Causes And Treatment Of Achilles Tendon Injury
- The main injury can be as a result of overuse, that is, excessive strain on the tendons without proper rest. The overuse can result from various activities like running or walking longer and faster or over steep hills or stairs. Also, severe athletic activities like lunges, jumps or push off’s can also cause injury to the Achilles tendon.
- Another cause is the structure of the leg. Sometimes unequal leg length can also lead to tendon injury.
- Tight and weak Achilles tendons are another cause of injury.
- If any of the foot bones or the heel is misshapen then it can cause injury to the Achilles tendon.
- Improper footwear is also another major cause of injury to the Achilles tendon. Wearing shoes with too much or too little of heel support or arch support or cushioning can cause injury to the tendons.
- Some medications can also cause Achilles tendon injuries. Specific antibiotics belonging to the Quinolone group and Cortisone can prove to be harmful to the Achilles tendon. However, cortisone plays an indirect role in the injury.
- The best treatment of Achilles tendon depends on correct diagnosis so that the treatment is appropriate.
- Rest is the best treatment. You should minimize your activities so that you do not put any undue stress on the foot. This will facilitate the healing process.
- To control the pain and the inflammation, apply ice three times a day and keep it over the tendons for at least 15 minutes.
- If the swelling has disappeared then you can apply heat in the form of hot soaks, heating pad and heat ointments on the injured tendons.
- Another way to enhance the healing process is to wrap the tendons with an elasticized bandage so that it stays immobile. Also, keep the leg at an elevated position to control the swelling.
- For the first 72 hours, use some forms of support like crutches while walking to reduce the strain on the calf muscles.
- Stretch the hip, back and leg muscles for 20 minutes a day to loosen the calf muscles. Stretching exercises also strengthen the calf muscles and release any undue strain.
- Therapies can repair the tendon muscles and also prevent any further degeneration. Various therapies like ultra sound, electric stimulation, and laser photostimulation are especially good for Achilles tendon injuries.