Achilles Tendon Injury

Symptoms, Causes, and Management


The Achilles tendon, a robust band of tissue connecting the calf muscles to the heel, plays a crucial role in various movements like jumping, running, and walking. However, this tendon is susceptible to injuries that can significantly impact mobility and daily activities. In this blog post, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for Achilles tendon injury.

Achilles Tendon Injury Anatomy

What Are Achilles Tendon Injuries?

  • Tendonitis:
    • Tendonitis occurs due to overuse or repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon, leading to inflammation and swelling.
    • Non-insertional tendonitis affects younger, active adults, while insertional tendonitis can occur at any age and may involve bone spurs.
  • Tears or Ruptures:
    • Tears or ruptures in the Achilles tendon can result from sudden movements or excessive force, causing immediate sharp pain and impairing mobility.

Risk Factors for Achilles Tendon Injuries:

Increased Activity Intensity:

  • Engaging in high-intensity activities without proper conditioning or gradual progression increases the risk of Achilles tendon injuries.

Improper Footwear:

  • Wearing shoes with inadequate support or cushioning can strain the Achilles tendon, especially during physical activities.

Tight Calf Muscles:

  • Tight calf muscles can put additional stress on the Achilles tendon, increasing the likelihood of injury.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Injuries:

Pain and Discomfort:

  • Persistent pain along the back of the leg or heel, especially during physical activity, may indicate an Achilles tendon injury.

Swelling and Tenderness:

  • Swelling and tenderness along the Achilles tendon, particularly near the heel, can accompany injuries or inflammation.

Stiffness and Limited Range of Motion:

  • Stiffness and difficulty flexing the foot or pointing the toes may suggest a problem with the Achilles tendon.

Take the First Step Towards Relief!

Diagnosis and Treatment:

To diagnose an Achilles tendon injury, healthcare providers typically conduct a physical examination, evaluate symptoms, and may perform imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the injury and may include rest, ice, NSAIDs for pain relief, specific exercises to strengthen calf muscles, physical therapy, heel lifts, orthotic devices, and extracorporeal shockwave therapy. In severe cases or complete ruptures, surgical intervention may be necessary, involving procedures like gastrocnemius recession or debridement surgery.

Complications and Prevention:

Complications of Untreated Injuries:

  • Neglected Achilles tendon injuries can lead to chronic pain, weakness, and increased risk of future injuries.

Preventive Measures:

  • Proper warm-up exercises, gradual progression of activity levels, and wearing supportive footwear can help prevent Achilles tendon injuries.


Rest and Immobilization:

  • Resting the affected leg and using immobilization devices like a walking boot or brace may be necessary to promote healing.

Physical Therapy:

  • Specific exercises and stretches prescribed by a physiotherapist can strengthen the Achilles tendon and improve flexibility.

Managing an Achilles tendon injury involves following healthcare provider recommendations for rest, pain management, and alternative low-impact activities like swimming or cycling as well as graded exercise. It’s essential to communicate any persistent symptoms or lack of improvement to your doctor.

Achilles Tendon Injury - Sever's Desease

When to Seek Medical Attention:

Immediate medical attention is necessary if you experience a sudden “pop” sound accompanied by sharp pain in the back of the leg or heel. For persistent pain or difficulty performing daily activities, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to assess and address the issue.


Achilles tendon injuries can significantly impair mobility and quality of life, but early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can facilitate recovery and prevent long-term complications. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for Achilles tendon injuries, individuals can take proactive steps to protect and maintain the health of their tendons.

Seek Professional Help

Recognizing the signs of Achilles pain and seeking professional help is vital for effective treatment. Schedule an assessment with a physiotherapist to address your bulging disc and begin your journey to recovery.

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