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I'move, Imove, Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Near Me, Physical Therapists Near Me, Achilles Tendon Pain, Achilles Tendon Tear, Achilles Tendon Rupture, Ankle Pain

Understanding an Achilles Tendon Rupture and How to Recover Stronger Than Ever

An Achilles tendon tear occurs when the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone is ruptured. This can significantly impact your mobility and quality of life. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Achilles tendon tears, including their symptoms, causes, and how physical therapy can be a pivotal part of managing and recovering from this condition.

What is an Achilles Tendon Tear?

The Achilles tendon is a thick, fibrous cord that connects the calf musculature to the heel. An Achilles tendon tear happens when there is a sudden increase in stress on the tendon, particularly during activities that involve running, jumping, or sudden changes in direction. This can lead to a partial or complete rupture of the tendon, causing sharp pain and difficulty in movement. A complete rupture is often associated with a popping sensation and intense pain. The Achilles tendon plays a crucial role in multiple activities including walking, running, and jumping and its injury can severely limit your daily activities and athletic performance.

Common Symptoms and Causes

The symptoms of an Achilles tendon tear can vary based on the severity of the injury. A partial tear presents with pain in the ankle or calf and symptoms may only be present during higher level activities such as running and jumping. A full tear of the Achilles is often associated with an audible pop and immediate, intense pain in the lower leg. This will significantly impact the individual’s ability to complete most movements and activities. Swelling and stiffness can be present with both a partial and full tear. 

 

Achilles tendon tears occur when the stress placed on the tendon exceeds its capacity. There are several factors that can contribute to this injury. A sudden increase in physical activities can overload the tendon beyond its capabilities. This can include increasing the intensity or frequency of exercise too quickly. The Achilles may not be capable of successfully managing the increase in demand which increases the likelihood of injuring this tissue. Athletes engaged in sports that involve explosive movements, such as basketball, tennis, and soccer, are at higher risk. An Achilles tear can be sustained through non-athletic activities as well. Stepping in a hole or taking a quick step to prevent yourself from falling can also lead to a tear. Factors such sleep habits, nutrition, and previous injury to the Achilles also play a factor. 

Recovery

Recovery from an Achilles tendon tear depends on the severity of the injury. A full tear will typically require surgery to reattach the Achilles. These individuals will have physical therapy after surgery to safely restore proper function of the Achilles. Those with a partial tear may respond to conservative treatments. Physical therapy is instrumental in recovering from an Achilles tendon tear. Through tailored exercises, physical therapists can improve tendon flexibility, increase muscle strength, and enhance overall function. Progressively loading the Achilles tendon safely can improve the tissue’s resilience. This has to be done in a safe and effective manner as overloading that tissue could lead to delayed healing or further injury. Having the knowledge and guidance of a physical therapist can be crucial for safely recovering from this injury. A physical therapist may also be able to identify contributing factors that likely led to the injury. This includes identifying training plan errors or mechanical faults in movements that led to overloading of the calf musculature.

How We Can Help

Recovering from an Achilles tendon tear requires a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation, focusing on strengthening the tendon and surrounding muscles while restoring mobility and function. At i’move, we understand the importance of tailored treatment plans and expert guidance in achieving optimal recovery.

Our skilled physical therapists specialize in designing personalized therapy programs to address the specific needs of Achilles tendon tear patients. Through a combination of targeted exercises, manual therapy, and education, we aim to improve overall function, reduce pain, and prevent future injuries. By working closely with our therapists, you can ensure that your Achilles tendon is healed and ready for any challenge you throw its way. 

Take the first step towards a stronger Achilles tendon by scheduling a consultation with one of our physical therapists today. Let us help you recover stronger than ever and get back to the activities you love.

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