The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. But while it’s the largest tendon in the body and is immensely strong, it is particularly vulnerable to injury.
The Achilles tendon is the most frequently ruptured tendon in the body, especially among athletes and sports people, usually due to overuse of the tendon, sudden extra exertion, or a failure to warm-up properly before exercise.
A ruptured Achilles tendon feels like an extremely painful kick to the back of the ankle, and if suffered requires immediate professional attention. Associated problems include inflammation of a heel bursa or a tear of the tendon, inflammation of the tendon and Achilles tendonitis.
Symptoms include mild pain after exercise or running that slowly becomes worse and can be quite severe; tenderness of the tendonabove the heel bone and / or stiffness of the lower leg, particularly first thing in the morning; and swelling around the tendon.
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
- Ice Therapy
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
- Steroid injections
- Shoe inserts and heel lifts
- Mobility and Exercise
- Surgery (in rare cases)
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