It is officially football season, but along with it comes not-so-fun injuries. One common problem to watch out for is an Achilles tendon rupture. It’s mostly seen in older athletes or people that deal with chronic Achilles Tendinitis. If you fall into either of those categories, don’t stress—there are things that can be done to prevent these types of injuries from happening to you!
As the largest and strongest tendon, your Achilles is a very important part of your body. It’s what connects the lower calf muscles to the heel bone and it is responsible for allowing the ankle joint to move.
Clearly we use this tendon a lot! Overuse can cause it to strain and become inflamed, resulting in a case of tendinitis. Continued use can cause the tendon to actually tear. This is called an Achilles tendon rupture, and it can be debilitating.
Sorry, but you’re going to have to take a time out…a long one! Icing is fundamental after the injury occurs, and you should do it about 20 minutes every 2-3 hours. Anti-inflammatory medication will ease the pain until we can help you get back on your feet again.
As the saying goes, the best treatment is prevention. Here are some key ways to protect yourself: Stretch and strengthen calf muscles—it is very important to stretch the muscle before a practice or game. Be sure to stretch the muscles until you can feel a gentle pull, not until it becomes painful!
- Switch things up—alternate between different activities with low and high impact.
- Select the right surface—choose where you run and play sports carefully. Avoid hard, slippery surfaces.
- Keep it gradual—increase training intensity slowly.
To find out more on how to treat and prevent an Achilles Tendon Rupture, contact Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John DPM, FACFAS at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists in Austin, TX. We will be happy to answer any of your questions about sports related injuries and how you can protect your student athlete throughout the season. Call our office at (512) 328-8900 to schedule an appointment today!
Photo by Sura Nualpradid