Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Understanding Achilles Tendon Injuries

Picture this… You’re training for marathon season and you’ve never worked harder. You’re putting in the effort it takes to succeed and following your training plan. On one of your long runs, you feel a snap in your ankle. Immediately you think that you might have damaged your achilles tendon. This type of injury is very common amongst runners and knowing your options will empower you if you’re faced with this obstacle.

Achilles tendon pain can be debilitating and put runners out for the whole marathon season. If you’re experiencing pain while running, it’s essential that you seek the advice of a medical professional. They’ll be able to help you pinpoint the problem and decide if any further action is needed.

The nature of achilles tendon injuries depends on their severity. Identifying your injury quickly is important, so that you don’t continue using an area that’s damaged. Running with an achilles tendon injury could further the damage and have you sitting out for longer, so let’s talk about how to avoid this type of injury and what you should do if you’re experiencing pain.

Avoiding Injuries

Avoiding achilles tendon injuries is fairly simple when you know what to do. One of the most beneficial things runners can do is develop a sustainable stretching routine. Remembering to stretch can seem unnecessary sometimes, but is crucial for warming up the body and making sure it’s ready for movement.

Those who play sports which require abrupt movement are at higher risk for achilles tendon injuries. Sudden movement can cause tearing or rupturing of the tendon, so it’s especially important to move carefully and execute movements in the intended fashion.

It’s also important to listen to your body. If you’re experiencing pain, pay attention to that signal and take the appropriate time to rest. Consider active recovery and find ways to stay moving while still not taking part in strenuous activities.

Signs of Achilles Tendon Injuries

When it comes to achilles injuries, pain is one of the most telltale signs. Heel discomfort is one of the most common things to experience while running, so make sure that you’re stretching properly and wearing the right footwear. Making sure that your feet and ankles have the right shoes will add to their stability and lessen the chance of injury.

If you’re experiencing pain while putting weight on your toes, then it may be an achilles injury that you’re feeling. Swelling in the area and bone spurs are also signs that there may be an achilles injury.

Treatment Options

Because there are different types of pain and degrees of severity, there are multiple different options for achilles tendon injuries. One of the most universal choices is rest. While it may be difficult to sit out for a few races, it’s better to not risk causing further damage.

Physical therapy is another great solution for an active recovery. Partnering with your physical therapist will give you the guidance of a professional and they’ll also be there to monitor your recovery.

If you’re experiencing achilles tendon pain, know that there are options. Reach out to our team to learn more about treatment options and ways to reduce discomfort.

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