Here’s a common January scenario: your number 1 resolution for the New Year is to exercise. So you buy some new running shoes and start a rigorous program, significantly increasing the distance you run and your speed within the first two weeks. At first you start to experience some mild pain in the back of your leg near your calf soon after you finish your run. Gradually the pain gets worse and more constant and you also notice swelling and stiffness in your lower leg. Chances are you have inflamed your Achilles tendon and developed Achilles tendonitis.
The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that runs from your calf, down the back of your leg to where the calf muscle connects to the heel. Although it is the body’s strongest tendon, able to withstand forces of 1,000 pounds, it is also the most commonly injured tendon.
Preventing Achilles Tendon Injuries
Many of the causes of Achilles tendonitis and rupture are preventable. Here are some tips to avoiding Achilles tendon problems:
- Make sure you stretch and warm up before beginning to exercise
- Wear shoes designed for the exercise or sport that you are participating in and properly fitted to your feet
- Increase the intensity of your workout gradually, allowing for days of rest in between workouts, especially if you have not exercised in a while
- Avoid excessive amounts of stair climbing or running and walking up hills
If your Achilles tendon does get inflamed and you are experiencing symptoms of tendonitis, make an appointment at Lansdowne Podiatry, by calling our conveniently located Leesburg, VA office at: (571) 223-0424. Our board qualified podiatrist, Dr. Monique Renee Rolle will examine your foot and ankle and determine the best treatment for you. There are a number of conservative treatments, including: orthotics, physical therapy and specially designed braces and bandages that limit the tendon’s motion.
Your podiatrist can help your new fitness routine get off to a better start by examining your toes, feet and ankles, and making suggestions regarding footwear and activities that best suit your feet, particularly if you have existing foot issues, such as bunions or arthritis.