Do you have pain in the back of your ankle? Have you noticed a strange swelling? Do you feel discomfort when walking or running? If you have these symptoms, you may be suffering from Achilles tendonitis. This painful condition is more common than it seems, especially among athletes and sportsmen.
Fortunately, relieving and preventing Achilles tendonitis is possible with simple at-home treatments, as complications rarely occur. Proper care of the Achilles tendon is important, as this ligament makes it possible to flex the ankles with the feet and activate the muscles.
So, if you want to know how to prevent this condition, then stay here! As La Clinique Podiatrique de Laval, the best podiatry specialists in all of Laval, we will give you 5 tips to avoid Achilles tendonitis. Let’s get started!
About Achilles tendonitis: what is it and how does it manifest itself?
Before learning about preventive measures for this condition, let’s take a look at the generalities of Achilles tendon inflammation. This information will serve you well, especially if you are an athlete or sportsman. But don’t worry, because our specialists in sports podiatry will explain everything in detail:
To begin with, Achilles tendonitis is defined as the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, product of an injury or excessive strain. In more severe cases, there may be a slight rupture or a complete tear of the tendon. Consequently, any physical activity will cause pain in your ankles and feet.
But… What is the Achilles tendon? Well, in a nutshell, this tendon is responsible for attaching the muscles of the foot and calf (known as the calcaneus) to the heel bone. Thanks to the Achilles tendon you can walk, run, climb stairs and perform various physical activities.
No wonder this is one of the most important (and largest) tendons in the human body. When it becomes inflamed, the tissue degenerates. If this condition is not addressed soon, the pain will worsen and you will even run the risk of severe injury, requiring surgical intervention.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis
Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is easy to recognize. You can feel the discomfort yourself when walking, jumping, running or standing on tiptoe. The most characteristic signs of this condition are:
- Focused pain in the back of the calf, above the heel. It may be mild at first, but the more physical activity you do, the more the pain will progress.
- Swelling or thickening of the tendon, which may worsen over time.
- Stiffness along the calf and heel.
- In severe cases, if you feel like something has snapped in your heel, and you experience excruciating pain for hours, your Achilles tendon may have torn. If so, you should see a doctor immediately.
What causes Achilles tendon inflammation?
The reasons why you may suffer from Achilles tendonitis are varied. However, in general, the pain is the result of an injury or continuous wear and tear of the tendon. Among other causes of this condition, we have:
- Excessive and intense physical activity, without adaptation programs.
- Failure to warm up before exercise.
- Failure to rest tight calf muscles and aggressive training.
- Wearing high-heeled shoes.
- Bone spur deformities, although this is less common.
- Some risk factors such as arthritis, age, obesity, having flat feet and some medications.
How to prevent Achilles tendonitis?
Now yes, let’s review some measures to prevent Achilles tendon inflammation, which are recommended by the celebrated podiatrists of our clinic. These tips range from changes in your physical routine to basic care of your feet. Let’s see what they are!
1. Warm up and stretch before any physical activity
To reduce the risk of Achilles tendonitis, warm up beforehand and then stretch your calf muscles. This way, the Achilles tendon will not be strained to withstand an exercise routine. Try bending your legs forward while keeping your heel on the ground.
2. Wear appropriate footwear
Footwear is crucial to prevent Achilles tendon inflammation. For this reason, only choose shoes with proper cushioning and good support. Avoid shoes with high heels, especially if you have flat feet. Also, try to buy shoes where your heel is slightly elevated to relieve foot stress.
3. Incorporate strengthening and balance exercises into your routine
Low-impact exercises, such as swimming, will help reduce stress on the Achilles tendon. You can also learn strength and balance training techniques for your legs. This will help you develop good balance and reduce the risk of heel injuries.
4. Get podiatric supplements
Insoles and pads are excellent alternatives to reduce damage to the Achilles tendon. In our clinic, you can find different podiatric orthotics to prevent the impact and wear and tear that result in tendonitis. On the other hand, our incredible team of specialists can manufacture custom orthotics to correct the biomechanical function of your feet.
5. Get enough rest and eat right
Rest is vital to prevent Achilles tendon injuries. Excessive physical activity, without rest intervals or cool-downs, does not allow the tendon to restore itself. As a result, the ligaments will be more prone to damage or rupture from constant wear and tear.
For this reason, reduce intensive exercise and look for more balanced programs. This way, the Achilles tendon will not be stressed. Ideally, rest between days during the week or for hours between sessions. It is also important to eat a healthy diet rich in protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D to strengthen your body’s ligaments.
Find the best Achilles tendon care, at La Clinique Podiatrique de Laval
Now that you know all about Achilles tendonitis, and 5 great tips to avoid this condition, what are you waiting for to apply them? Be cautious and don’t risk painful injuries. Take care of your feet and ligaments at all times, especially if you do any sport or physical activity.
If you put this information into practice, you won’t have to endure severe pain and you will be able to exercise safely! In addition, your feet and calves will be very grateful for these thoughtful gestures – don’t forget that the health of your lower extremities is just as important as that of the rest of your body!
On the other hand, if you need professional advice on your Achilles tendon or other conditions, we are the ones to contact! At La Clinique Podiatrique de Laval, our team of specialists will be happy to assist you. Our consultations and evaluations are precise, and with the most advanced equipment.
But that’s not all! Our clinic offers you a variety of podiatric services, from treatments, plantar orthoses, minor surgery, sports podiatry, children’s podiatry and much more. Our clinic is the number one reference in all of Laval, in terms of foot health.
We provide you with the highest quality care in a professional and friendly environment. Our specialists treat all kinds of foot conditions, from nail fungus, plantar warts, athlete’s foot, bunions, hammertoes and other podiatric complications.
As if that were not enough, we have the latest technology for your feet. Our address is 3333, 100th Avenue – Suite 105, Laval (Quebec), we will help you with any discomfort you may have! In addition, our clinic applies all the biosecurity and disinfection protocols, for your well-being.
In our clinic, our priority is to restore the health of your feet. It will be a pleasure to listen to you and help you with your medical problems, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us by clicking on the image below! The most prestigious podiatrists in Laval are waiting for you!