The injury that bears Achilles’ name, in honor of his only weakness, certainly afflicts many runners, with Achilles tendinitis accounting for approximately 10 percent of running injuries. In New Orleans Achilles tendonitis affects many runners – both experienced and beginners.
Technically, it is an acute inflammation of the tendon that runs along the back of the ankle. Pain in that area that lasts longer than a couple weeks is not really tendinitis anymore. Athletes, however, tend to characterize any pain along the tendon above the back of the heel as Achilles tendinitis.
Once you experience acute pain, the treatment is pretty much the same as with any acute injury – rest, ice and take anti-inflammatories. Some New Orleans orthopedic surgeons also recommend sleeping with a brace on your foot to keep it in a relaxed state and avoid walking around barefoot or in high heels so that your tendon isn’t overly shortened or stretched.
Studies have found one of the most successful treatments involves eccentric strengthening exercises. Stand on the edge of a step and lower yourself slowly on your injured foot, essentially exerting force as the muscle extends.
Then with your other, non-injured foot, raise yourself back up, so as not to stress the tendon in the rising motion. Do 15 repetitions, twice a day. However, if the pain is severe, it can be best to rest before easing back into exercises and workouts.
Of course, rather than treating the injury when it’s too late, wouldn’t you rather avoid it in the first place? That can be a little complicated, though, since why you get Achilles tendinitis in New Orleans really depends on what you’re doing.
It’s almost always an over-striding problem because when your foot lands in front of your trunk, especially if you land on your forefoot, you put all the weight on your Achilles tendon and that’s stress your body has to absorb.
There are other issues that lead to Achilles injuries as well. Runners who don’t engage their glutes tend to push with their toes instead of with their glute muscles, especially when trying to run fast and that kind of stress can cause inflammation.
Basically anything that stresses your Achilles tendon can lead to Achilles tendinitis if you’re not careful. This includes too many miles, too many hills or too much speed work without proper preparation. In fact, there isn’t always an obvious reason why someone might start to suffer from Achilles tendinitis in New Orleans.
Fortunately, the Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. As long as you’re careful while you escalate your training, you should be able to keep it healthy and strong. Often Achilles tendinitis manifests first as stiffness in the joint that eventually warms up.
To prevent Achilles tendinitis in the first place, it’s important to maintain your flexibility. Stretching can help – just don’t overstretch. Simply spend a minute each day stretching your calf and ankle joint. One of the easiest stretches is to put one foot on the ground behind the other and push into a wall.
In addition to stretching, using a foam roller and getting regular massage to keep the joint mobile can help prevent any problems from starting.
If you start to feel inflammation in your tendon or have Achilles tendinitis once, let it rest and recover, which can sometimes take as long as four to six weeks if you waited until the pain was severe.
The real problem is if Achilles tendinitis becomes an ongoing injury. If it keeps recurring, then it’s time to examine what you’re doing to cause the problem by having your running mechanics analyzed by a professional.
If you’re experiencing pain around your Achilles and want to know if you’re suffering from Achilles tendinitis, New Orleans residents trust the expert care provided by Dr. Richard Meyer. Call our office today to schedule a consultation and let’s get you up and running again!