Achilles injuries from running

Achilles tendon rupture can affect anyone, whether an athlete or just going for a walk daily. Learn more about Achilles injuries from running.

The Achilles extends from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. You can feel it: a resilient band of tissue on the back of the ankle and over the heel. It allows you to point your toes at the floor and raise your toes.

It is common for this tendon to be injured. It can be mild or moderate and feels like a burning pain or stiffness in that part of the leg. If the Achilles pain is severe, your tendon may be partially or entirely torn.

Achilles tendonitis is another type of injury where part of your tendon is inflamed. Two main types of this condition affect different parts of your tendon:

  • Noninsertional Achilles tendinitis, when the fibers in the middle of the tendon break down, swell and become thick.
  • Insertional Achilles tendinitis can affect the lower part of your heel, where your tendon inserts or enters the heel bone. It can cause bone spurs.

Symptoms of Achilles tendon injury

The most apparent sign is pain over the heel, especially when stretching the ankle or standing on your toes. It can be mild and get better or worse over time. If the tendon ruptures, the pain is immediate and severe. 

If your Achilles tears, you may hear a clicking sound when it happens. You may also have bruising and swelling. You may also have trouble pointing your toes and sliding off your toes when taking a step.

Causes of Achilles tendon injury

Achilles tendon injuries are common when quickly increase speed, slow down or turn, for example:

  • Running
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Soccer
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

These injuries tend to occur when you suddenly start moving when you push off and lift your foot instead of landing. For example, a sprinter may get one at the start of a race when they get off the starting block. The sudden action can be too much for the tendon to handle. Men over the age of 30 are particularly vulnerable to Achilles tendon injuries.

You can also damage the Achilles tendon if you stress it over and over again with high-impact activities. These are known as repetitive strain injuries.

Not only do athletes get this type of injury. If you go into a hole or fall from a high place, you can break your Achilles tendon.

Risk of Achilles tendon damage

You can get an Achilles tendon injury when:

  • You wear high heels, which can stress the tendon.
  • You have “flat feet.” 
  • The leg muscles or tendons are too tight.
  • You have leg spurs.
  • You add time to your workout routine or do a more intense activity.
  • You start a new type of training.
  • You wear shoes that are not right for the type of physical activity you do.
  • You train on uneven surfaces.
  • You are taking medications called glucocorticoids or antibiotics.

You may have a condition that can weaken your Achilles tendons, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, or diabetes.

Related articles:

Achilles tendon soreness running

Stiff calf after running


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