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6 Factors That Put You at Risk for Achilles Tendonitis

6 Factors That Put You at Risk for Achilles Tendonitis

You know your muscles enable your movement and your bones provide structure and stability to your body. But how often do you think about the piece that connects them: your tendons? Because they link muscle to bone, you need healthy, strong tendons to move your best. 

That’s particularly true when it comes to your Achilles tendons, the biggest and strongest tendons in your body. You have one of these tendons on the back of each of your legs, connecting your calves to your heels. Your Achilles tendons work with every step you take. And movements like running and jumping require even more from this key body part.

It’s not particularly surprising, then, that the Achilles tendon commonly gets overworked. This leads to inflammation, resulting in Achilles tendonitis. With this condition, you experience pain above your heel or at the back of your leg. 

If that sounds familiar, don’t hesitate to visit our team at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois. With expertise in Achilles tendon pain, Christopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, can help you figure out what’s causing your tendon issue. Just as importantly, we develop a plan to help it heal. 

Most patients who see us with this type of tendon pain have a few things in common. Here are six risk factors for Achilles tendonitis. 

#1: Starting a new activity

If you’re excited about a new sport or another type of physical activity, it can be tempting to go from 0 to 60. But ramping up too quickly taxes your Achilles tendon. Many people experience Achilles tendonitis after doing too much too soon when starting a new activity. 

#2: Choosing the wrong shoes

The right shoes help to absorb shock and support your body as you move. Wearing shoes that are worn down or inappropriate for the activity (e.g., running in basketball shoes) puts excess strain on your Achilles. 

#3: Moving on uneven surfaces

When your foot strikes the ground at an angle, it increases the pressure on your Achilles tendon. If you’ve been experiencing Achilles tendonitis pain, choosing to run or play sports on flat surfaces can help. 

#4: Rapidly increasing your activity level 

Just like jumping too quickly into a new activity, significantly ramping up your exercise of choice too fast can lead to tendon inflammation. If you want to level up your workout routine, do so gradually. 

#5: Tight calf muscles

When the muscles connected to your Achilles are tight, they increase strain on the tendon. As a result, tight calf muscles heighten your risk for Achilles tendonitis. To alleviate the possibility of this happening, be sure to stretch before exercising. 

#6: Your age and sex

Some factors that are outside of your control make you more likely to have an Achilles tendon problem. Specifically, your risk of this tendon issue increases as you get older. Also, if you’re a man, you’re more likely to experience Achilles tendonitis. 

Ultimately, a lot could be at play if you’re experiencing Achilles tendon pain. To find out what’s behind your discomfort while developing a plan to help it heal, call or schedule an appointment online with our team at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist today.

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