See a doctor right away if you think you have an Achilles tendon symptoms like below.
- Painful at the back of your heel and ankle.
- Sharp pain like a direct hit to the Achilles tendon.
- You heard a pop in your Achilles tendon when you were injured.
- Not able to walk comfortably.
- Swelling to the Achilles tendon area.
- You feel numbness, tingling, a pins-and-needles feeling in your foot.
What are common Achilles tendon Problems?
The two main problems are:
- Achilles tendinitis – Tiny tears (microtears) in the tissue in and around the tendon. These tears are caused by overuse.
- Achilles tendon tear or rupture – An Achilles tendon also can partially tear or completely tear (rupture). A partial tear may cause mild or no symptoms. But a complete rupture causes pain and sudden loss of strength and movement.
What causes Achilles tendon Pain?
Achilles tendinitis is most often caused by overuse or repeated movements like doing sports. For example, if you do a lot of pushing off or stop-and-go motions when you play sports, you probably get microtears in the tendon.
Achilles tendon rupture is most often caused by a sudden, forceful motion that stresses the calf muscle. This can happen during an intense athletic activity or even during simple running or jumping. Middle-aged adults are especially likely to get this kind of injury.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include swelling in the ankle area and mild or severe pain. The pain may come on gradually or may only occur when you walk or run.
Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture may include a sudden, sharp pain. Most people feel or hear a pop at the same time. Swelling and bruising may occur. You may not be able to point your foot down or stand on your toes.
How are Achilles tendon problems diagnosed?
Your doctor can will check the back of your leg for pain and swelling.
If your symptoms are severe or don’t improve with treatment, your doctor may want you to get an X-ray, ultrasound scan, or MRI.
How are they treated?
Treatment for mild Achilles tendon problems includes oral medicines, steroid injection, physiotherapy, shockwave therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma Injection. Early treatment works best and can prevent more injury.
Even in mild cases, it can take weeks to months of rest for the tendon to repair itself. It’s important to be patient and not return too soon to sports and activities that stress the tendon.
Treatment for severe problems, such as a torn or ruptured tendon, may include surgery or a cast, splint or walking boot that keeps the lower leg and ankle from moving. Exercise, either in physical therapy or in a rehab program, can help the lower leg and ankle get strong and flexible again. The tendon will take weeks to months to heal.
Although treatment for Achilles tendon problems takes time, it usually works. Most people can return to sports and other activities.