The achilles tendon is susceptible to overuse injuries due to its everyday use. This scenario can occur when you’re walking and running during exercise or sporting events. This injury is a problem that many basketball players must be careful of – or any athlete who must jump a lot in their respective sport. A tendon injured from overuse becomes swollen and painful. This is called “tendinitis.” If not cared for properly, this condition can worsen into occurrences of chronic pain referred to as “tendinosis,” or a breakdown of tendon tissue.
Another common injury is a tendon tear. This happens when the achilles is stretched too far during a quick or extreme leg movement. This typically occurs in people who play sports that require a lot of running with sharp turns and stops. When a tendon is torn completely, you may hear a pop when the tear occurs – it also may feel like you’ve received an impact at the back of the ankle. The tear is very painful and can make it difficult to walk after the injury.
If you have injured an achilles tendon, it’s important to get proper care so you don’t experience ongoing problems. Minor injuries can be treated with rest, medications, custom foot orthotics and physical therapy.
On the other hand, severe ruptures or tears are treated with a walking boot or cast following a surgical repair.