why does my achilles tendon hurt
Back to blogsWritten on: 2023-04-07

Why does my Achilles tendon hurt?

Suffering from stiffness or pain on or above the heel? If so, you are probably struggling with an Achilles tendon injury. In this blog, you will find the main causes and symptoms.

The Achilles tendon connects the strength of the calf muscle to that of the heel bone, and is one of the largest and strongest tendons in the human body. This tendon allows you to push off from the ground when walking, running or jumping. When the tendon is overused, it can result in an Achilles tendon injury. Especially when changeable movements are made with the muscle, for example by suddenly running or jumping a lot. Therefore, the injury is also most common in runners and athletes who make intense movements and/or jumps. The best-known causes are listed here for you:

Overused calf muscle

When you push the calf muscle too hard, it can become overused. Especially if you suddenly start exercising intensively when you did not do so in the past. The Achilles tendon is not used to this and will start to irritate as a result. Therefore, it is always important to build up exercise slowly.

Wrong footwear and/or socks

When wearing the wrong shoes or socks, this can cause you to walk incorrectly. When walking on a shoe that is too flat, the Achilles tendon is constantly under tension. If you continue to walk on this for too long, Achilles tendon complaints can occur.

Insufficient strength in the Achilles tendon

When the Achilles tendon has little strength, intense training/movement that uses the Achilles tendon can cause the Achilles tendon to become overused. Since the tendon is usually not used that much, it will now also not have the strength to suddenly be able to do intensive activities. As a result, injuries occur.

Physical factors such as genes, age and weight

Finally, physical factors also play a role. For example, you may have very short calf muscles, which increases the risk of an Achilles tendon injury. As you get older, blood flow to the tendon decreases, weakening it. Finally, people who are diabetic or overweight are also more likely to suffer an Achilles tendon injury due to fatigued joints.

You can recognize an Achilles tendon injury by several symptoms. Be careful not to confuse your symptoms with Achilles tendonitis or an Achilles tendon tear. These complaints have different symptoms. With an injury to the Achilles tendon, you can think of the following symptoms:

With an Achilles tendon injury, resting the tendon is essential. This means it is better to skip intensive use of the Achilles tendon for a while. If you suffer from stiffness around the tendon, wearing a night splint or Achilles tendon support can relieve the symptoms. In addition, wearing insoles can help recover from the injury.

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