Achilles Tendinitis: Don’t let it be your Achilles when you exercise!
Achilles tendinitis is a common lower body condition that affects all athletes alike. Whether you be a weekend warrior, training for a duathlon, triathlon, or marathon, or are a dancer, this injury can limit your potential, not allowing you to compete in your sport or activity you enjoy.
Achilles tendon injuries usually affect the bottom 1/3 of the tendon (near its attachment into the heel), but can also have an impact on your calf, shin, ankle, and foot. The tendon plants the ankle and foot and curls the toes in the foot aiding your gait when pushing off. When this becomes injured, your stride length or ability to push off will be significantly impaired. Most Achilles injuries occur due to repetitive motion and overuse from having flatter feet, a great deal of pronation in your arches, or tight calf muscles. You need to ensure that you stretch your Achilles properly both before and after any activity or sport to avoid injury. If left untreated, the Achilles can thicken over time due to repetitive motion and overuse. It will create additional inflammation and swelling, leading to tendinosis (chronic inflammation of the tendon) and/or possibly rupture when you least expect it.
Treatment of the Achilles tendon once properly evaluated and diagnosed can be successfully treated with Active Release Techniques, chiropractic manipulation of the ankle/foot, utilization of Kinesiotape to limit the use of your Achilles tendon during activity, and proper rehab exercises to ensure healing. Also, applying ice when it is acutely injured/flared up (to decrease swelling and inflammation) or heat (for Achilles tendinosis to loosen tendon and increase flexibility) with a barrier in either case will help alongside these treatment options. Depending on how long you have suffered an Achilles’ injury will influence your recovery time (i.e. the longer you have dealt with the injury with no treatment, the longer it will take to heal). The timing of both evaluation and subsequent treatment will avoid you having to miss your favorite sport or activity you love doing.
Before you try to treat it on your own, consider these measures so you don’t get left out of playing. Stay tuned for next month’s tips.
Dr. Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP
Lincoln Park Chiropractic
2202 N. Lincoln Ave Suite 1 Chicago, IL 60614