Ever heard of the great Achilles? He was the hero of the Greeks during the Trojan War in Homer’s Iliad. Achilles was said to be the son of a nymph and a mortal. His mother wanted her son to become immortal in order to protect him from a prophecy that he will eventually be killed in a war. His mother then dipped him in the river by his left heel. Because it wasn’t dipped into the water, it was Achilles’ weakest point, the only part of his body that could ever have a mortal wound. That is how the term “Achilles Heel” was derived to pertain to a man’s downfall.
But this blog will not talk about the personality issues of anybody. Instead, this will tackle the literal interpretation of the Achilles Heel, specifically the Achilles tendon. This part of the body is very important in having a normal leg function.
The Achilles Tendon Pain can be described as a pain felt behind the heel. The pain on this particular area heightens during periods of inactivity unlike that of the foot where pain is usually associated with too much activity. But there are major conditions that the Achilles tendon could result in: Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendonosis. The former is an irritation or inflammation of the large tendon located at the back of the ankle caused mainly by overpronation or excessive motion, changes in exercise training schedules, footwears and lack of flexibility. On the other hand, the latter does not involve any inflammation but can indicate the presence of small tears resulting to some tissue ruptures. Tendonosis can be caused by a lot of factors. Mostly inflicted with this kind of pain are long distance runners and it can be categorized by the following stages of pain:
1st Stage: There are soreness and tenderness throughout the day but no pain is felt during the exercise.
2nd Stage: Pain can already be felt during the exercise with soreness after resting.
3rd Stage: There is pain during the exercise and the presence of stiffness and soreness after resting.
4th Stage: Severe pain when performing exercise with soreness and stiffness all day together with slight pinching of the tendon that causes pain.
These conditions have their own respective treatments depending on the severity of the pain. Treatments could be as simple as immobilization and bed rest. If severe, treatments could be in the form of a surgery. Inflammation of the tendons could be treated by resting one’s foot to give it time to heal. One can also have cold compress or medications if necessary. Yes, self-medication can be done but it is still advisable to go and see the doctor before it gets worse. Remember, prevention of further injury is always better than cure.