How To Prevent Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis is possibly one of the most painful and uncomfortable injuries that any person can experience. It is characterized by inflammation and pain along the Achilles tendon, which is a tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. A reason why people are very keen to avoid Achilles tendonitis is because it requires a fairly long time for healing and treatment in order to prevent any need for surgery.
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a famed and skilled warrior who was immune to all forms of attacks, save for his heel. During the war against the Trojans, Achilles was shot fatally by an arrow in his vulnerable spot, which caused his demise. Since then the weak spot of tendons that covers the heel was called the Achilles heel, and the injury that can render anyone temporarily unable to walk properly is the Achilles tendonitis. This injury can be brought about by ill-fitting shoes that irritate the Achilles tendon, the manner of how you walk around or run, and by arthritis.
Preventing Achilles Tendonitis:
Make sure that the shoes that you wear fit properly while giving ample support for your feet. For those who are active and are into strenuous physical activities, do not forget to replace your running shoes before their shock absorption or padding is completely worn out. This is because the shock absorption of a certain shoe decreases at the same time as the side and bottom part of your shoe wears down. There are now shoe brands that are marketed to protect and even support your archs and heels, while you can avail of shoe inserts, or buy custom-made shoes that are best for your Achilles heel. For non-athletes, consider buying shoes that have enough room to allow your feet to breathe.
When exercising, first get the approval of your doctor or caregiver regarding the training or exercise program that you will undertake. Do not go beyond the program that has been specified by your instructor or doctor. Remember your limits and try not to overexert your efforts just to get the attention of your coach, teammates, or your reported fans who are watching you train.
Before starting any sport or workout, remember to do warm-up exercises, to help stretch the leg muscles and tendons to avoid sudden injuries and mishaps, while preventing the buildup of stress in your Achilles tendon. Do not forget to do cool-down exercises as well, for the same reasons. People often make a mistake of not stretching, especially after a game or workout, causing their tendons to be strained too much. After working out, put an ice pack on your Achilles tendon, especially if you're starting to feel soreness or pain. Make sure that you rest your Achilles tendon properly and thoroughly before doing any more workouts the next day.
Avoid running in areas that have slanting or uneven surfaces, or those that are made of concrete or asphalt, or anything too strenuous like running uphill. Instead, exercise on certain surfaces that are comparatively softer like dirt tracks that are evenly packed, grass, rubber tracks, or treadmills.
An Achilles tendonitis is often characterized by a mild pain that occurs during running and exercise that becomes worse gradually. It is also presented with noticeable sluggishness in the leg with localized or diffused pain along the tendons and morning tenderness in the area an inch or so above the spot where the heel bone is attached to the Achilles tendon. Other symptoms may include swelling and stiffness for a period of time during the first few minutes of strenuous activities.
The treatment for Achilles tendonitis depends greatly on the extent of the tear or damage, so it is advisable to ask an orthopedic surgeon regarding this. Treatment usually involves rest from strenuous activities for a certain period of time and changing into a different kind of exercise. For the pain and swelling, non-steroidal medicines and ice packs are prescribed to help alleviate the pain. In order to prevent the movement of the tendon, it is wrapped with a specially designed bandage and the shoes are given heel pads and inserts. Should the damage be found to be extensive, surgery is an option that is given to facilitate the repair of the damaged Achilles tendon. Unfortunately, the recovery period is quite slow, and the patient will require a cast and rehabilitation program.