Mighty Achilles & Your Feet
“Mighty Achilles, demigod, slayer of Hector…Can Cause Havoc to your FEET”
I often see dancers and regular runners as well as novice marathoners and others who try to push themselves too far too fast. Dancers almost always rupture their Achilles tendons just above the site where the muscle attaches to the tendon just below the calf. Among those more prone to this injury are women who wear high heels all the time and suddenly switch to flat shoes.
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?
The number one symptom is pain. There may also be a slight swelling and the base of your heel may be painful to touch. Stair climbing can also cause pain.
Who is at risk for Achilles tendonitis?
Age and sex are both factors. As we get older, the Achilles tendon weakens as the result of a lifetime of repetitive motion. Middle-age men are more prone to this condition, as are people with naturally flat feet because lower arches will cause more strain to the Achilles tendon.
To see if you have Achilles tendonitis, ask yourself these questions:
- Are your symptoms worse after certain activities?
- Where does it hurt?
- Does the pain lessen with rest?
- Does the pain lessen when you are up on your toes?
- Does stair climbing cause pain?
- Are your shoes contributing to Achilles tendonitis?
How to avoid Achilles tendonitis?
The best way to avoid this injury is to keep your body limber, and to do a regular stretching program for this and other parts of the body. This will increase the flexibility of muscles, ligaments, and tendons and help to prevent future injuries.
What can you do about Achilles tendonitis?
What you do in the first 24 hours after your injury or when you first feel pain is crucial. Typically, this condition can be treated at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation.
- Rest your leg and take a break from any workouts or other activities that cause more pain. You may need to wear a walking boot in order to reduce the pressure on the heel.
- Ice the tendon with an ice pack or bag of frozen peas or other vegetables. Apply ice for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off every few hours to reduce swelling. • Compression with an ACE bandage or an elastic bandage for the first 24 hours is important. This will help minimize swelling.
If the pain persists visit your Doctor’s Office.