Our Advice on How to Protect Your Achilles Tendon

Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body, and it does important work, allowing you to point your toe and flex your foot. Each time you take a step, your Achilles tendon helps to coordinate and support your movement. 

Dr. Arash A. Dini and our staff have seen plenty of Achilles tendon injuries, and we’d like to help you avoid one. Whether you have a mild case of tendonitis or an Achilles tendon rupture, you’re going to experience some pain and inconvenience. There are a few things you can do to make such an injury less likely. 

Achilles tendon problems

There are different kinds of Achilles tendon issues you might experience. For example, Achilles tendonitis is when your tendon is inflamed, often due to overuse. Two different types of tendonitis can affect your Achilles tendon: noninsertional and insertional Achilles tendonitis. 

Noninsertional Achilles tendonitis happens in the middle part of your tendon, the thick band you can see on the back of your ankle. Insertional Achilles tendonitis happens when the part of the tendon that attaches to your heel is inflamed. 

If you have pain when you stretch your ankle, or stand on your tiptoes, or you have pain in your heel, tendonitis could be to blame. If you only have inflammation, Dr. Dini may suggest rest, ice, compression, and elevation, along with anti-inflammatory medications. 

An Achilles tendon tear is more serious and may take a longer time to heal. An Achilles tendon rupture, which is a complete tear, is likely to require surgery to repair and heal properly. 

Prevention

Although anyone can experience an Achilles tendon injury, athletes and people who participate in activities such as dancing are at a greater risk. When you have to quickly speed up, slow down, and pivot, your Achilles tendon takes extra abuse. However, if you work on making sure your tendon is flexible, and the muscles around it are strong, you’re protecting yourself. 

Pay special attention to stretching the muscles in your lower leg. Try to do simple stretches at least once a day. More is better if you’re concerned about injury. 

Keeping your calf muscles strong is another good way to protect your Achilles tendon. Try doing both seated and standing calf raises a few times per day. 

If you’re concerned about your Achilles tendon, and would like more information on protecting it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Dini. Our staff is happy to discuss your particular situation since your activities, age, and medical history all play a role in your risk of injury. 

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