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How to Lower Your Achilles Tendon Injury Risk

If you’re an athlete playing on turf, or you’re a serious runner, you’re probably worried about getting an Achilles tendon injury. After all, earlier this year, Aaron Rodgers of the NFL’s NY Jets showed us how serious this kind of injury can be, when his tendon ruptured, taking him out of the game for the season and leaving him in need of surgery. Plus, it’s a common overuse injury. And that means it could develop if you overload your calf muscles while training. Even if you never step foot on turf.

One way to avoid this injury is to take rest days from runs and always stretch out your muscles. But now, thanks to a new study, we know there’s another way to stay safe. And it’s as easy as slipping a simple medical device into your shoe.

Custom Orthotics Reduce Risk of Achilles Tendon Injury Picture of astroturf

A new University of Central Lancashire study found that wearing custom orthotics lowered the chances of getting an Achilles tendon injury.  The findings came after Dr. Jonathan Sinclair recruited twelve adult male participants.

First, they ran on a mat equipped with special sensors that measure the foot’s biomechanics. Next, they looked at the results. And here’s what they found!

Men who wore custom orthotics placed less pressure on the Achilles tendons. But there was no difference in the runners’ peak ground reaction, whether or not they wore orthotics. Sinclair said this could be explained by running shoes that already have midsole cushioning.

What is an Achilles Tendon Injury?

Reducing impact on your Achilles tendon means you’re less likely to develop tendinitis, when it becomes inflamed. It also means you’re less likely to develop tears in the tendon, or even to experience a rupture.

Achilles tendon injuries can be very painful and a huge nuisance. Plus, they often require surgical repair, although this study reveals that non-athlete patients between the ages of 18-30 can probably rehab their ruptured Achilles tendon without surgery, and still achieve optimal results.

Want the best, science-driven care for your concern? Ready to heal your pain without undergoing unnecessary procedures? If you are suffering from an Achilles tendon injury, consult with our team of podiatrists at Louetta Foot and Ankle Specialists, in Spring, TX.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of your foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body, and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, sustaining an injury can cause severe pain and difficulties with mobility.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

– Inflammation

– Dull to Severe Pain

– Increased blood flow to the tendon

– Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

– Extreme pain and swelling in the foot

– Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention in Tomball, TX

We diagnose Achilles tendon injuries with a thorough physical evaluation. Often, we’ll order an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment will involve rest, physical rehabilitation, and in some cases, surgery. However, we can also help you prevent this injury with safer running techniques.

Are you currently coming back from tendinitis or another injury? Once we clear you for activity, we suggest easing back into your running routine. At first, you should also stick to treadmill running. Why is that the case?

Well, when you run outdoors, you never know what conditions you’ll face. As a result, missteps are common. And that could set back your recovery.

When you treadmill run, you can control all your conditions. That means you’re less likely to stumble or misstep. So you can ease back into training, with a lower risk of re-injury.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Spring and Tomball, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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