It’s not difficult to find a game of basketball, no matter your experience. You could join the 18+ or 35+ leagues at the JCC of New Haven, for example, or arrange for a weekend throwdown with some old college friends. As easy as it can be to have fun, though, it can also be easy to injure your Achilles tendon without some precautions. Here are some easy steps to take to reduce your risk of an Achilles tendon rupture, no matter what you’re up to.
Make Stretching Part of Your Life – The Achilles tendon and the calf muscles are connected. When the calf muscles are tight, they place extra stress on the tendon and increase the likelihood of a tear. Taking time to stretch and strengthen the calves can help condition both them and your tendons to take on greater amounts of force. Stretching before engaging in activity is good, but making stretches a part of a daily routine is even better.
Cross-train – Engaging in the same high-impact sports all the time runs the risk of weakening your Achilles tendons over time. If you like to exercise regularly, switch up your routines by spending days walking, swimming, or engaging in other low-impact activities.
Be Patient with Your Intensity – Many Achilles tendon ruptures occur when someone suddenly increases the intensity of their activity, putting too much load on tissues that are not yet ready to bear it. Take time to build up the intensity of your workout over the long run—about 10 percent each week. If you only engage in activity on the weekends, take time to stretch and warm up before you get into the heavy stuff, and be aware of your limits.Keeping your Achilles tendons (and the rest of you) healthy may also involve learning more about your specific needs and lifestyle. If you need help with treating or preventing a foot and ankle problem, Family Foot Care & Surgery is here for you. Call either of our two area offices at (203) 876-7736 for Milford or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.