Achilles tendinitis is the inflammation or swelling of the achilles tendon. Now this is the strongest tendon in the body and sits behind your ankle. It connects the calf muscle to the heel. A few runners also end up having heel pain because of the tendinitis. Usually it’s the overly tight calf muscles causing achilles tendinitis. Here are 5 tips to prevent it from occuring in the first place.
1. Always warm up before your run or jog
As simple as it sounds a lot of runners do ignore this. This is probably because you are so eager to get into your workout. However, even a 5 minute warm up to break a sweat will get the muscles ready for action. This will definitely prevent achilles tendinitis. It could as simple as merely doing marching in place or a light jog. You can even consider doing some simple body movements like squats and push ups before a run.
2.Wear orthotics to prevent achilles tendinitis
Do you have a low arch or completely flat arch? This can create tremendous pressure on the tendon while running. It’s important to see a podiatrist to get custom made orthotics to support your arches. This will definitely prevent undue pressure and strain on the achilles tendon.
3. Have you ignored your ankle pain? See a Physio!
Have you had several ankle sprains while playing sports that you’ve ignored? Well it’s time to see a Physio to get that ankle sorted. Especially if you are waking up with a stiff ankle or it’s stiffening up after getting up from sitting. It’s important to have full movement in the ankle to prevent inflammation of the tendon. This happens due to undue stresses placed on the tendon.
4. Do specific ankle strengthening exercises to prevent achilles tendinitis
Again a lot of runners easily ignore this bit. Running is a great exercise for the heart and lungs. What we call “cardio”. However, it can strain the joints escpecially the ankle. It’s just so important to do specific ankle strengthening exercises to keep the muscles strong. For example, calf raises are great! Whether you jsut use your own body weight or do it on a weight machine in the gym. Your calf muscles will certainly thank you for it.
5. Do balance exercises to prevent achilles tendinitis if you run on different terrain
If you love the great outdoors, you are surely running on different surfaces all the time. Concrete of course puts a lot more pressure on the ankle and achilles tendon. However running on grass or uneven surfaces will also strain the achilles tendon. It’s important to do balance exercises to improve the ankle stability. You can try standing on one leg for examply for 30 seconds. Or try closing your eyes and standing with a narrow stance to test your balance. They are fun exercises to do.