Professional athletes including Kobe Bryant, Isaiah Thomas, and David Beckham all suffered the instant, severe pain and swelling caused by a ruptured Achilles Tendon. However, most injuries to the Achilles tendon do not lead to a complete tear. Instead, wear and tear over years (repetitive strain) often leads to inflammation of the tendon.
The first warning sign that your Achilles tendon is irritated or inflamed is often pain above your heel. It may feel like it’s stiff or burning. The pain will likely worsen if you try to point your toes, stretch your ankle, or stand on your toes.
As the largest tendon in the body, the Achilles tendon is prone to irritation and inflammation, in athletes and non-athletes alike. Improper stretching before exercise may strain the tendon. Likewise, wearing poorly fitting or unsupportive shoes can cause Achilles Tendonitis.
Aches and pains are common as we age. However, if you have pain along the back of your foot above your heel that won’t subside, or worsens, it’s time to seek treatment. Most cases of Achilles Tendonitis can be treated non-surgically with physical therapy, custom orthotics, and switching to properly fitting shoes. Surgery for Achilles Tendonitis is only required if the tendon has been severely damaged or ruptured.
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