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Achilles tendon

 

altThere are many types or severity of Achilles injury and it’s very common among anyone involved in sports.

The chance of an injury is more likely with older athletes as the tendon becomes less flexible with age and also drier so it will not move as freely.

Achilles injuries left untreated may turn into in a chronic injury with bony lumps at the back off the heal and a build up of scar tissue, if left this may need surgical help but returning to normal activity will be a long process.


The most likely area of injury is within 8cm of the heal bone due to a reduced blood supply in this area.


Minor strain or tear to tendon

There may be a sudden onset of pain during exercise also swelling and bruising. If this does happen stop and do not try to run it off, apply ice as soon as possible  (R.I.C.E.) when the swelling has gone you may be able to feel a dip in the tendon where the tear has occurred.


Treatment


Following R.I.C.E. deep oscillation or cross friction massage then more ice work well for this injury


Tendinitis

If a minor injury is not treated tendinitis may be the result, the tendon thickens and you may feel a lump. This can be painful and even following a long period of rest from sport may return quickly following resumption of activity as the thickening is still there.


Treatment

R.I.C.E. to reduce the swelling and pain then deep oscillation or ultrasound and friction massage, also fit heal pads into all your foot wear as this reduces the strain on the tendon and allows it to heal quicker. These are available from specialist running shops and internet sites (firstaid4sport)

More information


Rupture

This can be very painful and the foot may flap when moved without the tendon to hold it in place.


Treatment


If you are a pro footballer or have private medical insurance you will have the tendon surgically re-attached. If not it will depend on the local hospital, one method is to plaster cast the leg and foot with the toes pointing down so the tendon attaches its self. This is a very slow process and you will be lucky if you are walking on the leg within 6 months.     

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