How To Prevent Achilles Tendonitis

How To Prevent Achilles Tendonitis

If you are a runner or exercise frequently, you likely know what Achilles tendonitis is. But if not, Achilles tendonitis is a stress injury caused by overuse of your Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Most cases of Achilles tendonitis can easily be treated with at-home care and remedies, while under the supervision of a foot doctor. However, prevention is important to avoid a more serious condition wherein the tendon itself can rupture and require surgical intervention to repair. Here, we outline ways to prevent Achilles tendonitis.

Preventing Achilles Tendonitis

Preventing Achilles tendonitis is important because this tendon injury can lead to a more serious condition wherein the tendon ruptures requiring surgical intervention. Although it might not be possible to completely prevent Achilles tendonitis from occurring, following these steps can lower your risk of developing it. For more information on surgery for Achilles tendonitis, read Do I Need Surgery for Achilles Tendonitis?.

Increase Your Activity Level Gradually
For those who are just beginning an exercise regime or those looking to increase the intensity of their current regime, it is important that you take it slowly. Gradually begin to increase the duration and intensity over time, being sure to pay attention to your body’s signals.

Be Careful and Take It Easy
When it comes to particularly strenuous exercise – like hill running, for example – take the time and care to thoroughly stretch and warm up before you begin. If you notice any sudden pain, stop immediately.

Take the Time to Stretch Before Exercising
When exercising, make sure that you stretch out your calf muscles and Achilles tendons thoroughly before and after. This will not only help with maintaining your flexibility, but will also help prevent Achilles tendonitis – particularly if you have had it previously.

Build Up Your Calf Muscles
If you work on strengthening your calf muscles, your calf muscles and Achilles tendon will be better able to handle any stresses that you might put them through during exercise.

When it comes to exercise, it is important to alternate between high-impact and low-impact activities. This is especially important when it comes to preventing Achilles tendonitis. You should aim to alternate between a high-impact exercise, like running or jumping rope, with lower-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling.

Choose the Right Footwear
It might seem obvious, but the footwear that you choose plays a big role in your comfort and the health of your tendons. You want to select footwear that has more than enough cushioning for your heel along with firm arch support to keep your Achilles tendon protected.

You should also remember to replace shoes that are worn out. For additional protection consider adding arch supports in your shoes. If you have questions about arch supports or custom orthotics for preventing Achilles Tendonitis, read How Your Podiatrist Can Use Orthotics to Treat a Variety of Conditions.

Achilles Tendonitis is Preventable and Treatable

When it comes to preventing Achilles tendonitis, it is important that you follow these steps and consult with your podiatrist if you experience chronic Achilles tendon pain. By taking care to stretch, wearing proper footwear, building up your calf muscles, and cross-training, you can prevent Achilles tendonitis and stay active for years to come.

Our team of podiatrists at To Healthy Feet can expertly diagnose your Achilles tendonitis and recommend treatments and preventative measures. We provide accurate diagnosis and comprehensive foot and ankle care, with the tools and technologies needed to provide a variety of specially tailored treatment options at each of our Manhattan podiatry clinics. If you are experiencing pain due to Achilles tendonitis, call To Healthy Feet Podiatry at 917-398-3668 or fill out the contact form to book your appointment at our Upper East Side, Times Square, Midtown Grand Central, or Downtown Wall Street locations today.


Q: What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?
A: The major symptoms of Achilles tendonitis are pain in the heel and along the length of your tendon when either running or walking. You might also experience pain and/or stiffness in the area. The Achilles tendon might be tender to touch as well.

Q: What happens if Achilles tendonitis goes untreated?
A: If left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can cause tears within the tendon. These tears can cause a rupture. If your tendon ruptures, then you will require serious medical intervention, which can include surgery.

Q: What is a quick and easy way to stretch my Achilles tendon?
A: Grab a resistance band (or even a stretchy t-shirt). Place the band or shirt around the ball of your foot. Pull the two ends of the band or shirt towards you until you feel a nice stretch in the back of your leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and relax for 10 seconds. Repeat this 5-10 times for both legs.

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