Achilles Rehab

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your entire body, connecting your calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon helps you to walk, run, climb, and jump. Although the Achilles tendon can withstand a lot of tension, it is still susceptible to injuries. A rupture or tear in the Achilles tendon can affect the function of your ankle and foot. Knowing what your Achilles tendon injury is and following your recommended treatments can help you move forward from the limitations of your injury. Read more to learn what to look for in an Achilles injury and our recommended treatments.

What is an Achilles Tendon Injury?

The Achilles can become injured with overuse or extreme stress to the tendon. Common Achilles injuries involve Achilles tendinopathy and Achilles Tendon Rupture or tears.
Achilles pain can occur in the Achilles tendon or where the tendon attaches to the heel bone, known as the Achilles tendon insertion.

Types of Achilles Tendon Injuries

Achilles Tendon Rupture

Achilles tendon ruptures or tears commonly involve sudden injury to the tendon, causing heel bone tendon rupture or a complete tear. Ruptured Achilles tendon injuries affect the normal function of the tendon and your mobility.

Achilles tendinopathy is caused by overuse and may be characterized by inflammation of the area. There are two types of Achilles tendinopathy, based on the area in which changes in the tendon are located. These can occur simultaneously or independently.

Noninsertional Achilles Tendinopathy

In noninsertional Achilles tendinopathy, the fibers closer to the middle of the tendon above the heel attachment are injured. These fibers can break down over time and develop minor tears, leading to undesirable changes in the tendon’s properties.

Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy

Insertional Achilles tendinopathy involves an injury to the lower area of the tendon where it attaches to the heel bone. The damaged tendon fibers can harden or calcify in both conditions over time. Insertional Achilles tendinopathy may cause bone spurs to develop on the heel. Although most common in runners, this can occur to individuals at any age or activity level.

What Does Achilles Tendon Injury Mean?

An Achilles injury indicates that you have experienced damage over time or sudden injury to the tendon and possibly the surrounding area.

Achilles Tendon Injury Symptoms

  • Pain along the Achilles tendon in the morning or while physically active
  • Extreme pain and soreness after exercising
  • Thickening of the Achilles tendon
  • Bone spur formation
  • Swelling of the tendon
  • Sore Achilles tendon
  • Heel pain

Achilles Tendon Injury Causes

Achilles tears often involve a sudden injury causing an immediate Achilles tendon rupture. Achilles tendinopathy is not commonly related to a specific injury. This typically involves repetitive stress on the tendon. Causes of Achilles injury may include:

  • A pronounced spike in exercise or physical intensity
  • Insufficient preparation for provocative activities
  • Lack of ankle mobility and strength

Achilles Injury Diagnosis

After noticing your Achilles injury, it is important to seek medical care to get your Achilles tendon injury diagnosed. Diagnosis can be completed through a full physical examination from a physical therapist or physician. A medical provider will generally recommend an Achilles rehabilitation program as a part of your treatment plan for your injury. Your treatment for your Achilles injury will depend on the extent of your injury and lifestyle.

Achilles Injury Treatment

Achilles tendon injuries treated with physical therapy can help restore function while minimizing pain. In severe cases where rest and physical therapy do not help, Achilles surgery can be performed to recover the functionality of the tendon.

Why Choose Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help restore and strengthen the injured tendon. Physical therapy uses progressive overload to increase one’s tolerance for activity and athletic endeavors. Physical therapy and exercise can help prevent Achilles tendon injuries from recurring by better ensuring adequate preparation for one’s physical pursuits.

Contact Us

If you are struggling with an Achilles injury, contact us today to schedule an appointment at Resilient Performance Physical Therapy in NY, NJ, and CT. Join us today to begin your journey to recovery and healing.

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