The Achilles tendon is a complex band of strong fibrous tissue connecting your calf muscles to the heel bone. It is the largest and strongest tendon in the body.
Its movement allows us to stand on our toes when walking, running, or jumping. This tendon can be prone to tear and injury and needs tender care.
Prevention of Achilles tendonitis can take many forms. These include; cutting down on uphill running, wearing shoes with good support that fit well, and stopping to exercise when you feel pain or tightness in the back of your calf or heel. I shall explore some of the best shoes with good support that you can try.
In order to understand preventive ways to Achilles Tendonitis, I shall have this guide presented to you in a simplified way. I shall start by looking at what Achilles tendonitis is, what causes it, its signs and symptoms, and the three best ways to prevent it.
Let’s get started straight away!
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that happens to your Achilles tendon, a band of tender tissue connecting calf muscles at the backside of the lower leg to your heel bone. It is an injury that mostly occurs to people who have suddenly intensify the duration of their runs.
What causes Achilles Tendonitis?
Injuries to the Achilles are common in people who do things that involve quick speed of feet, slowdowns or pivots. These include all activities such as;
- Sporting activities such as; Football, baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, and volleyball.
These injuries tend to happen when you start moving suddenly as you push off and lift your foot rather than when you land.
Signs and Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?
According to Stanford Health Care, the signs and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis are pretty simplified. They include;
- Discomfort or any form of swelling at the heel back
- Tight calf muscles
- Limited range of motion at times you are flexing your foot
- The skin on your heel feeling overly warm to the touch.
3 Fast ways to prevent Achilles Tendonitis
There are a couple of things you can do to ensure you keep yourself from injuring your Achilles’ tendons. Here is what you need to observe;
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Any extra weight you have adds stress to the Achilles tendons. Doing so may contribute to a serious injury. With proper diet and exercise, you can keep off unwanted weight and have less stress on your tendons.
You will achieve greater flexibility as you carry on your day-to-day activities.
2. Practice daily stretching
Muscles that are consistently tight can contribute to injuries in your Achilles’ tendons. It is important to ensure that you stretch regularly to your calves and adductor muscles. Practicing yoga can be a great stretching addition to your routine.
3. Protect your feet
When you find that you’re prone to tension, or resistance in your Achilles’ tendons, try wearing protective heel pads or compression sleeves. You can find this protective sleeve in specialty footwear stores or online stores.
An Achilles tendon injury can occur anytime, anywhere to anyone, whether you are a pro athlete or just carrying on your everyday life. Despite the strength of the Achilles tendon, it is very vulnerable to injury, because of its limited blood supply and the high tension placed on it.
Training Tips to Keep Your Achilles Healthy
Farmer’s walk on Toes
You can grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your sides at arm’s length. Raise your heel and walk forward or just in circles for about 60 seconds. Ensure that you stand as tall as you can and stick your chest out.
Single-leg Standing Dumbbell
Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and stand on a step. Cross your left foot behind your right angle and balance yourself on the ball on your right foot. Your right heel should be on the floor or hanging off a step. Your left hand should be holding on a stable place as you lift your right heel as high as you can.
There are a couple of tips you can consider to keep your Achilles tendons healthy. You will need to watch the mechanics of your foot. Ensure you wear a stability shoe that offers the much-needed support to correct the problem.
You also need to shorten your running stride as doing so means you will put less load on your feet.