You might know the myth of Achilles, a character who was invincible save for one spot on his body: the heel. Naming a tendon in the same area after the fallen warrior doesn’t really provide the most confidence in it, does it. With all the stress it can endure and its tendency to be injured, however, the Achilles tendon arguably deserves at least some of its vulnerable connotations.
The Achilles tendon is the largest of its kind in the body, connecting the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. It’s one of the big players in your locomotion, allowing the extension of the foot and the ability to point the toes toward the ground.
With great responsibility, however, can come a lot of stress, and this makes the Achilles a common sufferer of trouble. One of the most common conditions is Achilles tendinitis, where excess stress or irritation upon the tendon can cause it to grow inflamed and painful. Tiny tears often develop in the tendon as well.
In more severe cases, the tendon can also partially or completely tear (known as a rupture). This often comes with a sudden snap or pop followed by extreme pain. These types of injuries often occur with a sudden movement, such as bolting forward at the start of a race.
Keeping your Achilles tendons healthy is largely a matter of making sure they’re strong and conditioned enough to handle the loads you are placing upon them. This takes patience and a gradual building of intensity. Dr. Kevin Powers can help you determine the best ways to achieve optimum performance with minimal risk to your feet and ankles. And if an injury does strike, we’ll be there for you, too. Call our Bloomington office at (812) 333-4422 to get in touch.