The weather is starting to warm up here in Broome County and many people within our community are getting back into outdoor exercises and sports like running, basketball, and tennis. There is certainly tremendous value in leading an active lifestyle, but it does come with the risk of injury. A little knowledge, though, can help you lower that injury risk!
You can reduce the odds of suffering an Achilles tendon injury with some easy steps. Some of the top Achilles tendonitis prevention tips include:
- Start new physical activities gradually. If you begin a new workout program by jumping in with high levels of intensity and/or duration, you put yourself at risk for Achilles tendon injuries. Instead of taking this path, use a gradual progression to stay safe.
- Ease into advanced intensity levels. In the same way that starting a new activity with high intensity increases injury risk, so too does making a sudden jump in an existing workout program. Ramp up intensity and duration gradually to give your body time to adjust and prepare for the increased force loads it will face.
- Wear proper footwear. Shoes need to be activity-appropriate, have adequate cushioning, and provide robust arch support to prevent the Achilles tendon from becoming injured due to excessive tension. If you have questions on choosing the right shoes, we can help!
- Stretch. A little time stretching the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon, especially in the morning and before and after exercise, will keep the soft tissues limber. If you feel “tight” in the heel or ankle region, be sure to start a gradual stretching and rolling program. To receive a specific program on rolling and stretches that you can do, be sure to contact our Vestal office for an appointment.
- Strengthen your lower legs. Strong calf muscles can take stress off the Achilles tendons, thereby reducing injury risk. Calf raises and other lower leg exercises are particularly beneficial. Once again, gradually increase the intensity of these exercises to avoid injury.
- Cross-train. Replacing a couple of high-impact activities (those that feature running and jumping) each week with low-impact ones (like swimming or cycling) will further reduce the cumulative amounts of physical force the Achilles tendons face.
There is always going to be at least some degree of injury risk when staying active, even if you follow these Achilles tendonitis prevention tips. It might seem difficult to find “good news” at the thought of injury, but we do have some: most foot and ankle injuries are effectively resolved with the use of nonsurgical treatment methods.
Southern Tier Podiatry is committed to providing exceptional foot and ankle healthcare services for you and your family, whether the problem is sports-related or not. Contact our Greater Binghamton office today to find out how we can help. Either give us a call at (607) 217-5668 or take advantage of our online form to schedule your appointment with us now.