Just like any other vital part of your body such as your eyes and ears, your feet play an important role of ensuring that you move comfortably. Therefore, keeping your feet healthy is crucial in avoiding wear and tear. Our feet too experience wear and tear due to the pressure and friction one experiences on the feet during movement. Overstraining your feet in extreme activities or wearing loose-fitting shoes can lead to potential foot problems such as Achilles tendinitis. This is a common condition that arises when the large tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg becomes irritated and inflamed. If you feel sudden pain in the Achilles tendon, it is more likely that you are suffering from Achilles tendon rupture. Achilles tendinitis can start as a small pain in the lower part of the tendon but can swiftly become more of a problem. It mostly affects people who engage in intense sporting activities. It is worth mentioning that the structure of the Achilles tendon weakens with age. Therefore, old people are at a greater risk of injuring their Achilles tendon. However, extreme sporting activities and old age are not the only factors that may increase your risk of getting Achilles Tendinitis. There are several other factors that may also trigger this condition. This article explores some of the risk factors of Achilles tendinitis and what you can do to prevent it.
Risk Factors That Might Prompt Achilles Tendinitis
Men are more likely to get Achilles Tendinitis compared to women. This is because men tend to have large and strong calf muscles that exert more pressure on the tendon and increase the risk of rupture. Although some women have large and strong calf muscles, their muscles are more elastic during movement. The elasticity is what lowers the risk of Achilles Tendinitis in women.
Being overweight places more strain on the Achilles tendon which accelerates its destruction. For that reason, obese people are prone to this condition as their feet cannot hold out the extreme weight of the whole body. Thus, it is important to maintain a healthy body weight by observing good nutrition habits and generally leading a healthy lifestyle. This way, you will not only reduce your risk of Achilles Tendinitis but also that of chronic diseases and promote your overall health.
A flat arch on your foot can put more strain on the Achilles tendon. As a result, people with flat arches on their feet have a tendency of developing Achilles Tendinitis due to the greater stress placed on the tendon when walking. Individuals with a flat arch should wear shoes with adequate stability to lessen the strain and avoid injury altogether.
Medical Conditions And Medications
Having a medical condition like psoriasis and high blood pressure can put you at a higher risk of developing Achilles Tendinitis. These two conditions damage the blood vessels all over your body including your feet and are associated with developing poor circulation which overly affects the Achilles tendons due to the distressed blood circulation. Furthermore, certain types of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones, are associated with higher rates of Achilles Tendinitis. These drugs increase the levels of tendon breakdown chemicals known as MMPs. The chemicals are what stimulate tendinitis.
How to Keep Your Feet Protected To Prevent Achilles Tendinitis
Reducing your chances of developing Achilles tendon problems is easy. Before exercising you should stretch your calf until you feel an evident pull but not pain. You also need to vary your exercises as they should not be intense throughout. The intensity should increase slowly, and you should be able to diverge from intense to restful exercises. Choosing your training surfaces is equally important as this also affects the way your feet are positioned. Rough surfaces are likely to trigger Achilles tendons tear because of amplified stress. Additionally, shoes and inserts that slightly hoist the heel have a tendency of reducing the pressure on your Achilles tendon. Therefore, you should wear shoes that are able to control your pronation and provide arch support.
The right footwear can help avoid irritating the inflamed tissue caused by damage to the tendon. The best thing about proper shoes is that they will help you prevent further damage. Avoid shoes with thin soles when you’re involved demanding activities like running as thin soles can mete out more pressure.
Achilles Tendinitis Diagnosis And treatment
Rapture of the Achilles tendon causes pain along the back of your leg close to the heel and this is often linked to repetitive pressure. The most common symptoms of tendon injuries are pain down the back and swelling with pain that gets worse as you’re active during the day. Treatment is generally hinged on how badly injured your tendon is. For minor tendinitis, rest, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief and specific exercises to strengthen your calf and take pressure off your tendons are advisable. If the injury is severe surgery may be considered. However, this will completely depend on the location and the severity of the tendonitis.
The time tendinitis takes to heal depends on the severity of the injury and the mode of treatment. Consequently, minor tendinitis heals faster compared to severe tendinitis whose healing process might take up to more than a month. If left untreated, Achilles Tendinitis may become chronic and cause endless pain that may affect your daily activities and result to sleepless nights. For home remedies such as rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories you might need to be more persistent as the results are usually visible after continued use. Tendinitis actually clears away without any medical intervention. Nevertheless, severe or persistent tendinitis should be examined by your doctor for proper diagnosis. Finally, it all boils down to proper shoes and synchronized modes of exercise. Proper shoes are a guarantee that your feet are protected from any unwarranted pressure. Likewise, the right mode of exercising prevents too much pressure from being exerted on your feet.