Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan war. His mother, according to the legend, dipped him in the river Styx to make him invulnerable. Unfortunately, she had to hold on somewhere and she chose to hold him by the heel. Later on in his mythical life, Achilles was killed by an arrow that pierced him in that unprotected body part, thus it has its name.
You may be able to tell by its sheer size that it is the strongest tendon in your body. It is necessary for walking, as it transmits the power of the lower leg to your foot. Without it, we would have a hard time being bipedal.
There are many things that can go wrong when dealing with it. Tendinitis is a common affliction, especially for runners. It usually starts suddenly with a sharp pain. Unlike other such connectors, this sensation may go away after a warm up, but it will usually recur near the end of the workout.
Because this is the case, it is very easy to ignore the pain and just continue on with your workout, but that isn’t really a good idea. Catching the problem when it is just an inflammation is a lot easier on your body than waiting until some real, possibly permanent damage is done.
In most cases of injury, RICE is your first step in treatment. Don’t use the foot and leg, let it rest. Use ice for at least the first forty-eight hours, and longer if it remains swollen. Some sort of compression, such as a brace or an ace bandage may also help with swelling and support. Ask your doctor which to choose, as you don’t want to risk more damage. Keeping it propped up, elevated, well also be a big benefit.
You may want to use a heel pad in the affected foot. Don’t wear high heels or hard leather shoes. Something with ankle support and a flat heel is much better.
Ignoring tendinitis is not the only way further damage can occur to your heel. Other types of injury can occur, resulting in ruptures, tears and complete severing of the tendon. Small tears can heal on their own, but ruptures and complete severance requires surgical intervention. For this reason, if you suspect an injury to that area, it is best to be seen by a doctor.
There are a few things you can do to help avoid this painful problem. First, consult a shoe specialist to find the right shoe both for regular wear and for whatever sport you wish to take part in. Proper shoes will go a long way towards preventing injury. Second, consult your doctor to make sure you are fit enough for whatever exercise you wish to take up. This way, you can develop a program that is good for your whole body. Lastly, remember to warm up and cool down before you start working out or playing a sport. A coach or personal trainer can show you the best way to do this important step.
When you see your doctor, be sure to give a list of any medical conditions you have as well as any medications or supplements you take. This will help in several ways, including injury prevention. Following these tips can help keep you moving.