The Achilles tendon is the largest, longest, and strongest tendon in the human body. This tendon attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone and causes the foot to “push off” when the calf muscle flexes. This tendon is critical to normal walking, running, and jumping. Traumatic injuries to the Achilles tendon during athletics are quite common, and frequently disabling. Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of this tendon, which causes swelling and pain when the calf muscle contracts, or flexes.
Achilles Tendonitis in children, if left untreated by your Seattle podiatrist, can lead to long-term, chronic pain and two more serious conditions — Achilles tendinosis and Insertional Calcific Tendinitis.
Your Seattle podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington, Dr. Larry Huppin and Dr. Doug Hale, are recognized experts in the treatment of Achilles Tendonitis in children, and are the Seattle podiatrists often recommended to their patients by Seattle doctors.
Injuries to the Achilles tendon are most commonly an overuse injury. Children being children, they run, and jump, and climb, and play in ways that put almost constant stress on this tendon. Problems with children’s feet occur regularly and, often quite naturally. These problems can be a result of simple biology, injury or over-activity, or growing too quickly or too slowly. Sports and playing may also be contributing factors, as well as improperly fitted foot wear.
Playing sports is one of the most common causes of Achilles Tendonitis in children, as children find it difficult to restrain themselves when they are having fun, leading to this common overuse injury. By teaching your child to stretch properly before and after sports, and to rest when they become tired, you will go a long way toward helping to prevent an Achilles injury.
Sports Causing Achilles Injury Can Include:
Prevention of these injuries:
- Properly fitted shoes
- Stretching before and after sports
- Analyzing Gait by your podiatrist
Treatment for these injuries:
- Complete rest
- Icing – 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off
- Compression of the lower leg
- Elevation of the foot
Your Seattle podiatrist is here to help you prevent Achilles Tendonitis in children. Make an appointment today at the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington, and bring your child’s shoes with you, for a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s feet.