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Achilles Heel Pain-Causes and Treatments

Many individuals damage their Achilles tendon and don’t even recognize this until it worsens and what may have been a mild pain in the beginning turns into a constant pain. The Achilles tendon is a soft tissue that connects muscles to the bone of the heel.

There are many different causes of this type of pain in the heel, called Achilles tendonitis. Often the tendon receives repeated tears that are very small and may cause no symptoms during movements such as walking and climbing stairs. With time these tears continue causing the leg to become weak and the pain to become constant. Another cause for the heel pain may be when the tendon thickens and an abnormal growth or nodule rises from the thickening.

Other causes of Achilles heel pain may often be:

• The repeated movement or overuse of the tendon while working, playing in some sort of sport, or participation in other activities may cause microtears that are unable to heal before they are further torn and begin to cause pain.

• When an individual participates in actions such as running, tennis, basketball, and dances like ballet for instance, they repeatedly use the push-off or the stop-and-go motion with their feet and this in turn often causes Achilles heel pain.

• Anytime one is planning to exercise whether it is in a local gym or simply going for a jog in the neighborhood they should always warm up by easily and slowly stretching in order to condition the body for the activity about to begin. When this is not done, there is a high risk for injury that may cause Achilles heel pain.

• When choosing foot wear, one should select a shoe that have good arch support and heels that cushion and help in shock absorbance.

Rupture of the Achilles

Often the most Achilles heel pain occurs with the rupture of the Achilles tendon. When this happens there has more than likely been some type of sudden and very forceful motion or an overstretching of the tendon that may have already endured some damage in the past.

Tendon tissue is often weakened or broken down by the administration of corticosteroids to individuals in the past which makes it more probable to rupture. If an Achilles tendon rupture occurs, there may suddenly be a pain that is sharp that may be accompanied by the sound of a pop. Soon after, bruising and swelling may be seen. Severe pain may develop in the heel.

Treatment Possibilities

Medical treatment should be gotten promptly when Achilles heel pain is severe as the tendon may have ruptured. The course of one’s treatment will be different for each individual. There are treatments that are non-operative and those which do require surgery. If surgery is required, physical therapy will be necessary after the tendon has adequately healed.

It is of vital importance that all follow-up appointments with the surgeon are attended as scheduled. This will help the physician monitor the healing process and watch for any developing problems.
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