Achilles’ tendon: rupture, tendinitis, operation, so how do we care for a painful heel?
Achilles’ tendon: rupture, tendinitis, operation, so how do we care for a painful heel?

Achilles’ tendon: rupture, tendinitis, operation, so how do we care for a painful heel?

Achilles’ tendon, or a calcanean tendon, is a string of fibre tissue connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle. If it is strained too much, it can lead to tendinitis or becoming ruptured.

Definition: what is the Achilles’ tendon?

The Achilles’ tendon, or a calcanean tendon, is a string of fibre tissue connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle and is the thickest tendon in the human body. Very resistant, it can support the weight of over 400 kilos.

The role of the Achilles’ tendon is to allow the ankle to flex when walking or running.

Rupturing the Achilles’ tendon or tendinitis

If it is too strained, the Achilles’ tendon can end up becoming fragile. The first stage of this is that the tendon becomes swells up which is known as tendinitis and is an injury commonly found in athletes.

In the most serious cases, the tendon can tear or break. This can occur following a sudden movement such as a jump, starting a sprint or stretching classes that aggravate the tendon. This generally leads to pains in the back of the foot and the injured area swells up and becomes sore and bruised.

How to care for an Achilles’ tendon

In cases of tendinitis, it is important to stop all sports activities immediately. This is because continuing to put force and pressure on the tendon when it is fragile increases the risks of tearing the tendon. It is also recommended to put ice on the painful area to reduce inflammation and also wear a bandage.

The Achilles’ tendon then has to be rested for around a month or a month and a half. Keeping the tendon still and not moving it allows for it to heal better.

If the Achilles’ tendon becomes ruptured, surgery is essential and involves reattaching the two parts of the tendon.

By Stacey Williams
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