Care for your biggest tendon

achilles tendon

Photo From: Corinna Clark

Achilles tendonitis refers to a painful condition that leads to severe inflammation in your Achilles tendon and is often referred to as “back of the heel pain”. Your Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to your heel bones. The Achilles tendon is actually the largest tendon in your entire body and you use it during almost every physical activity.  You use your Achilles tendon when you jump, run or simply walk.

Achilles tendonitis is often associated with sports as it is brought on by overwhelming amounts of pressure. Your Achilles tendon is built to endure great pressure, but trauma or overuse can lead to Achilles tendonitis. You can reduce your risk for Achilles tendonitis by taking the following preventative steps:

  • Gradually increase your exercise. If you are starting a new training or exercise routine you should start out slow. Jumping into an intense exercise program can easily strain your muscles and tendons, leading to Achilles tendonitis. You should increase not only time but intensity on a week to week basis.
  • Remember to stretch. If you have tightened muscles, particularly your calf muscles, it can put greater amounts of pressure on your Achilles tendon. Performing a series of stretches throughout the day and before all physical activities can help to build strong muscles and prevent tightening.
  • Have off days. While it is great to keep yourself active, you should also give yourself proper resting days.  Particularly if you are a runner as the sport puts excessive amounts of stress on your feet. You should try to alternate your exercise to every other day, which will allow your feet to regain their strength in between.
  • Obtain the correct footwear. Shoes not only need to fit the shape, length and width of your feet properly, but they should be appropriate for your physical activity. Pick shoes that are specific to your exercise and replace your shoes when they begin to look or feel worn out.

Achilles tendonitis can cause severe pain along the back of the leg and the heel particularly in the morning or after physical activity. The condition is also associated with thickening of the Achilles tendon, swelling that increases with exercise and stiffness. In serious cases you can actually tear your Achilles tendon.

If you experience Achilles tendonitis contact our Troy office at (248) 362-3338 or our Warren office at (586)751-3338 to set up an appointment with Dr. Anthony Weinert. We also provide an online appointment form on our website: www.stopfeetpainfast.com.

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