A condition that often results in serious heel pain is known as Achilles tendonitis. This condition may form when the Achilles tendon is damaged as a result of overuse. This particular injury can be very serious, as the Achilles tendon’s main function is to connect the lower half of the calf muscles to the heel bone. If this tendon becomes damaged, it may result in difficulty walking and completing everyday tasks, as well as cause extreme discomfort and pain.
It’s more common for athletes to experience Achilles tendon injuries, as they’re more likely to be participating in activities that would call for repetitive movement, such as running or jogging. This kind of repetitive movement over time is likely to cause stress on the tendon. When athletes abruptly increase their performance level without properly training or warming up their bodies, they may also injure the Achilles tendon, which may lead to inflexibility in the calf muscles.
An Achilles tendon rupture is trickier to heal and is by far the most painful injury. It is caused by the tendon ripping or completely snapping. The results are immediate and absolutely devastating, and will render the patient immobile. If a rupture or tear occurs, operative and non-operative methods are available. Once the treatment begins, depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time for these types of issues can take up to a year.
In order to prevent this kind of injury, it’s suggested to perform stretches—particularly focused on the calf region—about one to three times a day to keep the area flexible. Focusing on building strength in your calves is also advised. If you believe you’ve injured your Achilles tendon, there are some actions you can take to help alleviate the discomfort. Icing and massaging the affected area may help to calm the pain, as well as practicing light stretches.
If you’re having difficulty walking or icing the area does not alleviate the pain, it’s highly advised that you speak with a podiatrist for professional care and an advised treatment plan.