How To Prevent Achilles Tendinitis
Knowing how to prevent Achilles tendinitis can help you reduce your risk of suffering from this painful condition. True prevention isn’t possible, but you can take steps to avoid this type of injury. Seek medical attention if you have signs of tendinitis, such as pain or stiffness in the back of your leg above your heel or slight swelling in your Achilles tendon.
To prevent Achilles tendinitis, you'll need:
- Supportive footwear
- Wear the right shoes when exercising. Shoes that offer poor support or inadequate cushioning cause more stress and tension on your Achilles tendon. Stop using shoes that are worn out. Arch supports placed inside your shoes can provide additional cushioning.
- Stretch and strengthen your muscles and tendons. Perform calf muscle and Achilles tendon stretches when you wake up and before and after each exercise routine. Stretching helps reduce tension and improves flexibility in this area of your leg, which decreases the chance of Achilles tendinitis recurring. Building stronger muscles helps also reduces your risk of injury.
- Start slowly and exercise wisely. If you’re trying a new routine, do the minimum level of intensity and duration recommended. You can increase the amount of time and intensity level gradually. Stop your routine and rest your feet as soon as you notice any pain in the area around your Achilles tendon. Don’t do exercises that strain your tendons, such as running uphill. If you want to attempt a more challenging activity, ease yourself into it and always do warm up exercises beforehand.
- Avoid sticking exclusively to high-impact exercises, such as running. Aim to do low-impact exercises, like swimming, in between the more demanding ones.
- If you do experience symptoms of Achilles tendinitis, see your doctor for treatment. This condition can lead to a more serious one called Achilles tendinosis, which puts you at higher risk of rupturing or tearing your tendon.