What is an Achilles tendon injury?
An Achilles tendon injury is an injury to the tendon that runs from the calf muscle to the heel. The cause is usually prolonged overload, causing an inflammatory response in or around the tendon. The Achilles tendon can also be damaged. Overload is mainly due to activities such as running and jumping.
Symptoms achilles tendon injury
If you have an Achilles tendon injury, you can recognize it by the following symptoms:
- pain in the tendon during or after exercise
- stiffness of the tendon, especially at the beginning of the effort
- red color of the skin over the tendon
- crackling sound when the tendon is touched
- tear in the tendon, a dent is usually felt. You can stand on your toes very difficult or even impossible
- swelling of the tendon
How does an Achilles tendon injury arise?
The Achilles tendon injury is an overload injury and is caused by the constant repetition of a certain movement. Sometimes the injury is caused by a combination of overloading and (early) aging of the tendon. Achilles tendon injuries occur primarily in runners and jumpers. Circumstances that may also play a role in the development of complaints:
- poor warm-up
- wrong shoes
- wrong posture
- incorrect execution of the exercise
Is it serious and what can you expect?
The severity of your injury is determined by how often, how long and when the pain is present. With pain that only occurs after prolonged exertion and disappears automatically, the injury is still in its early stages.
If the pain also occurs at the beginning and / or during exercise, it is a bit worse. If you have persistent pain, even at rest, then the injury is serious.
If you have acute pain and it is impossible to lower your foot, there is a chance that you have a torn Achilles tendon . Sometimes a cracking noise can be heard when cracking occurs.
When to the doctor?
If the pain is acute and you cannot move your foot down, the Achilles tendon may be torn. An Achilles tendon tear should be treated quickly and usually surgically, so it is best to contact your doctor immediately.
What can you do about it yourself?
For starting symptoms it is advisable to temporarily stop exercising. An Achilles tendon injury is usually the result of prolonged (over) stress, and continuing training can aggravate the injury.
For complaints that indicate an Achilles tendon injury, it is best to cool the tendon for 15 to 20 minutes with ice or a cold pack. Place a cloth between them to prevent skin freezing. It is best to repeat the cooling several times a day for the first two days.
Find out for yourself if you can explain why the symptoms now arise (new shoes, expansion training schedule) and try to eliminate possible causes. It is wise to only start exercising again when the symptoms have completely disappeared, but do it very calmly. Quickly using the old training schedule again is not wise, there is a good chance that the injury will return. Also take enough rest between training sessions, in the beginning that usually means at least two rest days between training sessions.
General advice and precautions
Here are some advice that can help you prevent an Achilles tendon injury:
- execute a calmly structured training program, don’t overdo it too quickly
- a good condition ensures a reduced risk of injuries
- good footwear, good cushioning in the heel is very important. A heel increase in the shoe can somewhat reduce the load on the Achilles tendon
- prevent walking on hard surfaces. Prefer soft forest paths or grass
- do exercises that strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot, lower leg and ankle
- perform a good warm-up before you start your training, and a good cool-down after your training
- massage the Achilles tendon and calf muscles after the training
- prevent cold on the tendon by wearing sufficiently long socks
Source : dokterdokter