The Achilles tendon is a tough band of threadlike tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is also called the calcaneal tendon. The calf muscles unite into one band of tissue, which becomes the Achilles tendon at the low end of the calf. The Achilles tendon then inserts into the heel bone. Small sacs of fluid called bursa cushion the Achilles tendon at the heel. The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. When the calf on our toes when walking, running, or jumping.
Despite its strength, the Achilles tendon is also vulnerable to injury, due to its limited blood supply and the high tensions placed on it. Achilles tendon injuries are common in people who participate in these sports such as running, gymnastics, dance, football, baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, and volleyball. An Achilles tendon injury might be caused by overuse. Stepping up your level of physical activity too quickly. Not stretching enough before exercise. Wearing high heels, which increase the stress on the tendon. Problems with the feet. An Achilles tendon injury can result from flat feet, also known as fallen arches.
In this condition, the impact of a step causes the arch of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons. Muscles or tendons in the leg that are too tight. Rest your Achilles tendon. Avoid all activities that strain the tendon, such as stair climbing or running. While allowing your tendon the days, weeks, or months it needs to heal, try other activities, such as swimming. Reduce pain by icing your Achilles tendon and taking nonprescription pain relievers. Follow your physical therapy program if one has been prescribed for you, and do gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, especially focusing on calf stretches.
Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking slows healing, because it decreases blood supply. Wear footwear that protects the tendon while it is healing. Quality athletic shoes that support your arches and cushion your heels can make a big difference in your daily comfort and the healing process. If needed, talk to your physical therapist about heel pads. A bandage that keeps your foot flexed can restrict the motion of the Achilles tendon. A silicone sleeve or pad can distribute pressure on the Achilles tendon.