Did you know that the Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body? As the tendon that connects our calf muscles to our heel, it is important in the function of our feet. Providing our feet with the ability to push off and move forward in motion, it is a well-used muscle in everyday life, but also in athletes. Because of the importance it has in our ability to walk and run, it is also the most injured tendon in the body. As an orthopedic surgeon in Orange City, we see many athletes that have sustained injuries or tears to their Achilles tendon. Although it may not be entirely avoidable, there are some ways you can prevent an Achilles tendon injury in sports.
When you are working out or exercising, avoid doing the same motions repeatedly. Instead, vary up your training regimen to give your calf muscles and tendons a break. This can reduce the risk of overuse injuries, and the Achilles tendon injuries tend to be this type of injury. For example, if you are involved in a high-impact sport, like football, you may want to mix in some low-impact training, like swimming, to reduce the stress on your muscles.
Before you train or practice your sport, you should always take the time to stretch the muscles in your body. This is especially important for your calf muscles. When your calf muscles are tight and you do not dedicate the time to lengthen them, your Achilles tendon will be at risk for injury. By stretching, you loosen up the muscles and reduce the stress placed on these tendons.
Athletes like to push themselves. However, when you push yourself too much, you may sustain an injury that can be avoided. Take your training at a safe and reasonable pace and listen to your body. If you are feeling burnt out or your body is resisting your exercises, take a break and do some stretches. This can prevent injuries from pushing yourself too hard.
It is important for athletes to wear the right shoes that provide them with support and cushion for their feet. Also, consider the type of surface that you will be performing on. For example, a basketball court will require more shock absorption than a soccer field. When you have the right heel and arch support in your shoes, you can prevent injuries from occurring during your training.
These are a few things that athletes can be doing to prevent injuries to their Achilles tendon. When you suffer from an injury to this area, you will want to seek treatment from an orthopedic surgeon in Orange City for an evaluation. Contact the experts at Florida Bone and Joint to schedule a consultation with us today.