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Achilles tendon injury can result from vigorous exercise without warming up. The injury hurts a lot and requires a long rehabilitation.

The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the calf connect to the calcaneus via the calcaneus tendon known as the Achilles tendon. It is the largest and strongest human tendon - it can withstand loads of up to 350 kg. Thanks to it, we can bend our feet, climb on toes, run or jump. Unfortunately,Achilles tendonoften gets damaged. Thenpain , swelling appears, and a doctor's intervention is usually needed.

Common causes of Achilles tendon injury

Achilles tendon injuries most often occur in men around the age of 40. Why? When a midlife crisis hits, they usually want to prove to themselves and everyone else that they are still in great shape. Meanwhile, training, which is a problem, now may turn out to be overpowering. This is because with age the muscle-tendon structure becomes less and less supplied with blood. This results in lower Achilles tendon strength.

In addition, weight usually increases over the years, and so does the strain on the tendon. It is enough to tighten the muscles tightly without any warm-up and the misfortune is ready. Professional athletes also have problems with the heel tendon - a very developed musculature contributes to reducing the strength of the Achilles tendon. People who use forbidden drugs accelerating the growth of muscle mass will not avoid them, because steroids adversely affect the structure of the tendons.

The type of footwear we wear is also important. Achilles tendon injury occurs when you wear uncomfortable slippers with a hard heel counter. It is possible especially in people whose calcaneus has a slightly different shape - it is pointed, not rounded (the so-called Haglund spur). In this situation, the uncomfortable shoe presses the bursa between the heel and the Achilles tendon against the bone. Inflammation forms in the bursa, which over time moves to the tendon.

Sometimes an ointment and compresses are enough to heal the Achilles tendon

The cause of inflammation of the tendon or tendon, i.e. the membrane surrounding the tendon, in addition to uncomfortable shoes, may be external trauma or overstrain. It usually shows up thenpain, swelling and erythema. In such a situation, it helps to immobilize the leg with an elastic bandage and the use of cold compresses, which must be replaced with warm compresses after 2-3 days (this way you have an anti-inflammatory effect). It's a good idea to lubricate your calf with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointments or gels three times a day.


Once damaged, the Achilles tendon is more prone to rupture. You could say that all the injuries he suffers add up. Therefore, those who have had trouble with him should exercise extreme caution.

Of course, the condition to recover from damage to the Achilles tendon is to stop training and relieve the injured leg. Otherwise, the inflammation will become chronic and you will hear a distinct scratching noise with each leg movement. Then physical therapy, kinesiotherapy, immobilization in a plaster or orthosis (special orthopedic apparatus), and sometimes even surgery may be necessary.

When a cast or Achilles tendon surgery is necessary

Sudden and too intense muscle tension or direct trauma (e.g. kick) may lead to tearing or complete rupture of the Achilles tendon. This is especially true in people who are already weakened by previous injuries. The rupture is usually about 5 cm above the calcaneus tumor. Sudden pain, swelling and hematoma appear then. We cannot take a step or stand on tiptoe. When torn apart, these activities are possible, but they are very painful.

In such a situation, you need to go to the doctor as soon as possible. If it is uncertain whether the tendon is completely or only torn, he will perform an ultrasound. If the tendon is only torn, surgery is sometimes required. A slight tear will heal after a few weeks of wearing a plaster or brace. In the event of a ruptured tendon, an operation is necessary, which is performed under general anesthesia. Then the leg is immobilized in a cast for six weeks, and then for four weeks you have to come to rehabilitation. After this time, you can return to normal activities, and even play sports - as an amateur, because professional athletes may have some problems.

You must do it
  • Buy shoes that do not compress your heels. It's best that they are not completely flat, because then the foot is perpendicular to the calf and stretches the hamstring. A heel of 2 cm is best, it must not exceed 4-5 cm. The risk of tendon damage especially applies to people who wear a higher heel on a daily basis, and occasionally wear flat shoes for hiking.
  • You have to sell your new shoes. In order todo not put pressure on the tendons, along the cork under the heel - remember that it should not be higher than one centimeter.
  • Adjust the effort to age and your own abilities. Don't forget to warm up before each workout. It makes tendons more flexible. When going to the mountains, do not take the most difficult route on the first day, start better with gentle walks.
  • During longer hikes, use appropriate accessories, e.g. special trekking poles - they relieve the knees and feet.
  • Have an active lifestyle every day - regular exercise makes your muscles and tendons stretch and therefore less prone to damage.

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