Achilles Tendinitis Takes Center Court
The US Open Tennis competition is held in Flushing, NY, every year, and each year it seems one or more players sustains an injury. A problem like Achilles tendinitis, however, happens more often in recreational players in their 30s and 40s than in pro players. Competing professionally means you are constantly practicing and staying in top form, and you take the time to use proper technique and condition your body. The rest of us often double-fault by not building up our leg or ankle strength and not warming up or stretching. That’s how we end up with pain in the backs of our ankles from overdoing things.
Baseline Achilles Facts
This tendon lies vertically behind your ankle and connects your heel bone (calcaneus) to your calf muscles. You can feel the cord if you pinch the area between your thumb and forefinger. It is a strong band of tissue, but it is not invulnerable. Overuse by repetitive running, jumping, lunging, and twisting can cause it to degenerate, and small tears can appear in the surface. As these tiny tears build up, the risk of a complete rupture due to excessive force increases. The tissues around it can also swell and become very painful. This group of symptoms in general is called Achilles tendinitis, although tendinosis or tendinopathy may be more accurate terms.
There are many factors that can increase your chances of getting this injury. One is having flat feet and overpronation that is often related to it. When your foot rolls too far inward, it puts extra strain on the Achilles. You can’t change the foot you were born with, but you can let the expert podiatrists at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates fit you with custom orthotics to correct the imbalance.
Another factor is your footwear. If you don’t have shoes that keep your ankle stable during activity, you are more likely to pull on the tendon and cause damage. Look for a pair with a firm heel cap, a sole that rolls or flexes at your forefoot with each step, and adequate cushioning to absorb the impact of your stride.
You are asking for trouble if you don’t take time—10 – 15 minutes at least—to warm up and stretch before and after activity. This is especially true if you engage in physical activities only on the weekends. Any time you suddenly increase your level of activity, its intensity, or the time or distance, you increase your odds of Achilles tendinitis.
Ace Your Tendon Problem
When the pain behind your ankle has reached break point, call us. We can determine how badly your Achilles is damaged and set up a treatment plan to bring you relief. Take a bye on your activities for a bit to rest the tissue. Lob the pain away with proper icing and elevation. We can also let you know if a compression wrap will help keep swelling down. Don’t rush the net the moment you feel a little better. Let the tendon heal completely before you gradually work back into your game.
Let Aadvanced Foot Care Associates serve up expert care for your Achilles tendinitis or any other issue with your lower limbs. We match the latest treatments with caring concern for your long-term foot health. Call us today at our Rego Park office – (718) 896-4433, our Plainview location – (516) 822-9595, or in Flushing – (718) 969-2266. We are top-seed podiatrists in the Forest Hills area with the advantage of 100 years of foot care know-how. You can also keep in touch with us using Twitter, Facebook and Google+.