Achilles tendonitis is an injury among runners. It can be caused by overuse or repetitive motions and results in pain and inflammation around the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the largest in the human body and is located in the lower leg, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. Without proper care, Achilles tendinitis can make running increasingly tricky.
A podiatrist in Marietta offers different treatment methods for Achilles tendinitis, like rest, stretching exercises, physical therapy, and surgery. However, prevention is the best medicine.
Here are several exercises that can help you prevent or treat Achilles tendinitis:
1) Calf Stretch
Begin with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one leg and press the heel down until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Try and hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat twice on each side.
2) Isometric Calf Raise
Stand with the feet hip-width apart and rise onto your toes. Shift your weight onto the injured ankle, pressing into the floor while squeezing your calf muscles.
Keep this position while counting to 10, then slowly lower your heels. Repeat this exercise up to five times on each side.
3) Resistance Band Exercises
Wrap a resistance band around the ball of your feet and hold onto the ends with both hands. Push your feet away from one another, against the band’s resistance, as far as you can for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise about ten times. This will help strengthen and protect your Achilles tendon from further injuries.
4) Calf Raises
Stand on the edge of a step or stair with your toes touching the edge and hold onto a stable surface (such as a wall or railing). Raise your heels and lift your toes off the edge of the stair, then lower yourself slowly back down. Do three sets of 10 repetitions for each foot.
5) Eccentric Heel Drops
Stand with your feet hip-width apart on a staircase or step and hold onto a stable surface (such as a wall or railing) for balance. Slowly lower your heel halfway down, pause for five seconds and then lift back up. Do this exercise 10 times on each foot to help strengthen the Achilles tendon and reduce strain.
6) Heel Cord Stretch
Begin in a standing position with one leg forward, bending at the knee while keeping your other leg straight behind you and your heel on the floor. Keeping your back straight, slowly lean forward and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Then switch legs and repeat.
Tips To Reduce Pain and Discomfort
Some ways to reduce pain and discomfort due to Achilles tendonitis include:
1. Rest: taking breaks from exercise or other activities that can cause strain on the tendon, such as running and jumping, is essential. To reduce stress on the tendon, decrease your activity level or avoid certain activities until symptoms improve.
2. Ice Therapy: applying cold packs to the affected area for 15 minutes every few hours may help reduce inflammation and pain.
3. Compression: wearing a support brace or compression bandage can help relieve pressure on the tendon and promote healing.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Medication: over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Contact the Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia for treating Achilles tendonitis in Marietta. Our experienced podiatrists are committed to providing you with the best care and treatment options so you can get back to your active lifestyle quickly.