March Madness is practically here, along with the brackets, commentary, and speculation. Who will upset predictions? Who will do as well as they are expected to? Will there be another dramatic injury like Kevin Ware’s broken leg from last year? Hopefully not, but you don’t have to snap your shin—or even be a college basketball player—to be sidelined by a lower limb injury. Achilles tendinitis can be painful and weakening enough to keep you sitting down.

Achilles tendinitis risks can increase or decrease depending on your activities and exercises. Sports with frequent stops, starts, and direction changes, like basketball, strain the tendon. A sudden increase in the intensity or duration of your exercises puts extra pressure on your foot. Tight calf muscles can be a liability, too; they pull on the heel bone, which can irritate the tendon and surrounding tissues. Preexisting conditions like arthritis or flat feet also put you at risk. If you think you could develop a problem with your Achilles, you should make changes and try to prevent the issue now, before you have pain.

Make sure you stretch and strengthen your calf muscles, especially before and after you play sports. If you’re starting a new exercise program, or plan to step up your intensity in practice or your exercise routine, take it slow. Work your way up to your end goal, so that your muscles and connective tissues can handle the strain. Make sure your shoes are not worn out, and use orthotics if you need them. If you feel pain in your tendon, take some time to rest and ice it to head off the problem.

Being active is wonderful and healthy, but it does increase your Achilles tendinitis risks. If you’re concerned about inflammation in this major tendon, don’t wait until pain develops to seek help. Contact the Las Vegas podiatric experts at Absolute Foot Care Specialists for an appointment or more information. Fill out the online contact form or call (702) 839-2010 to reach us.

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