Men More Likely To Have Achilles Tendon Rupture:
Achilles tendon ruptures are more common than most people think. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), approximately 1 out of every 10,000 men will suffer from a torn Achilles’ tendon during their lifetime. This means that one out of every 100,000 men will develop a torn Achilles’ tendon.
In addition, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five women will experience an Achilles’ injury at some point in her life. One out of every three women will have an Achilles tendon rupture.
The reason why men are more prone to suffering from achilles injuries than women is because they tend to run longer distances with greater impact forces, which causes them to sustain higher levels of damage.
What Causes Achilles Injuries?
When running or jumping, the body absorbs shock by contracting muscles. When the contraction is complete, blood returns to the heart and lungs, where it’s pumped back into your limbs. If there isn’t enough oxygenated blood returning to these vital organs, then they’ll start shutting down. This is called hypoxia. If too much oxygen gets to your tissues, then they’ll die off and become damaged beyond repair. This is called ischemia.
So how does this relate to achilles tendon injuries?
Well, if you run or jump for long periods of time without taking rest breaks, your muscles and tendons will fatigue beyond their capacity. In the case of the achilles tendon, it can’t take the stress that’s applied to it by the calf muscle. Over time, the achilles tendon gets inflamed and weakens, making it more susceptible to rupture.
Achilles tendon injuries are most common in middle-aged men, as their tendons are more prone to wear and tear over time. It’s also more common in sports that require jumping, running, or sprinting for long periods of time. Achilles tendon injuries tend to be less common in sports that require short bursts of speed followed by pauses, such as basketball or football.
If you’ve been playing sports for a while, your chances of getting an achilles injury are greater than someone who is just starting out. Your tendons need time to strengthen and be conditioned, so be sure that you don’t overdo it.
What Are The Different Types Of Achilles Injuries?
There are several different types of achilles tendon injuries, but fortunately not all of them are as severe as an achilles tendon rupture.
Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the achilles tendon, which causes pain at the back of your ankle. This condition can be treated by taking anti-inflammatory drugs and resting. By giving your tendon proper rest, you’ll give it time to heal properly. If not, you risk rupturing the achilles tendon.
Achilles Tendonosis: Another condition of the achilles tendon is called achilles tendonosis. This condition is also an overuse injury, but it’s less severe than achilles tendonitis. With this condition, you’ll experience pain and some swelling around your achilles tendon.
Rotator Tendonitis: Your rotator cuff is made up of four different muscles that hold your upper arm bone in place. If you suffer from rotator cuff tendonitis, then you’ll feel pain and swelling in one of the rotator cuff muscles. This condition is often caused by overuse, although there can be other contributing factors as well.
Peritendonitis: Your peritendon is a protective case that surrounds your tendon. If it becomes inflamed, then you’ll experience some pain and discomfort around the tendon where it’s protecting it.
Paratenonitis: Your paratenon is a protective casing that surrounds the peritendon. Inflammation of the paratenon is called paratenonitis, and it’s often a result of overtraining or an injury to your tendon.
Why Should I Treat My Achilles Injuries?
If you suffer from any of the above conditions, then it’s important that you get it treated by a professional. Ignoring your achilles tendon could lead to more serious complications in the future, especially if you continue to exercise with an inflamed tendon.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with one of the above conditions, then it’s best if you rest it immediately. Continuing to train and exercise while suffering from these conditions can lead to a rupture. This is because you’ll push the achilles tendon past its limit, which can cause it to snap. If you want to avoid this, then don’t exercise at all and get it treated by a physical therapist.
How Can I Prevent Achilles Injuries?
If you’ve suffered from an achilles injury in the past, then there are several things that you can do to prevent it from happening again.
Wear Shoes That Are Suitable For Your Sport: One of the most common causes of achilles tendon injuries is wearing the wrong shoes for your sport. If you play a sport that requires a lot of quick starts and stops, such as basketball or soccer, then you need to wear shoes with good traction. On the other hand, if you play a sport that requires you to do a lot of cutting or pivoting, you need to make sure that you wear shoes that provide you with the proper support. Running shoes are great for running, but they aren’t so good for other sports.
Ice Your Achiles After Exercising: It’s important that you ice your achiles after exercising. This will help keep inflammation at bay and allow you to exercise the following day or the next few days.
Strengthen Your Core And Legs: Just like with your upper body, it’s important that you keep your legs and core strong as well. This will allow you to move better and give extra support to your achiles.
Stretch: Never neglect stretching. Like with your upper body, if you stretch your legs and achiles it will allow you to move better and avoid injuries in the process.
Wear High Quality Running Shoes: If you plan on running, then I highly recommend that you wear high quality running shoes. Your shoes play a huge part in your performance and how your body moves. Runners have a tendency to wear their shoes for far too long as well. If your shoe starts to show signs of severe wear and tear, such as big holes or tears along the sides, you need to get a new pair right away.
What Are Some Exercises That I Can Do To Prevent A Tendon Injury?
There are several exercises that you can do on a daily basis in order to prevent tendon injuries from happening. These exercises should be done on a regular basis in order to strengthen the muscles that surround your tendons. They should also be performed for at least three months before your event in order to see the maximum benefits.
Here are some of the best exercises that you can do to strengthen your tendons:
Flex And Point Your Toes: This is one of the simplest yet most effective exercises that you can do. All you have to do is sit on the floor with your legs stretched out. Make sure that your legs are not crossed. While sitting on the floor, flex and point your toes towards you as far as you can go.
Repeat this process several times.
Heel Raises: This is another great exercise that you should do in order to strengthen your achiles. All you have to do is stand up straight with good posture while you place one foot on top of a chair. While having one foot on the chair, raise the heels of your foot as high as you can go by pointing your toes towards you and lifting your heels as high as you can. Hold this position for several seconds and then bring your heels back down before you lift them up again.
After doing this for a few sets, switch over to the other foot and do the same process. This exercise is great for strengthening your tendons.
Toe Touches: This is a relatively simple exercise that you can do in order to keep your tendons in proper working order. All you have to do is lie on the floor on your back with your legs straight and your arms at your side. Raise one of your legs in the air without bending your knee and then reach towards your toes as far as you can go. Hold this position for several seconds and then switch legs and repeat the same process.
How Can I Prevent Tendonitis In The Long Run?
If you want to prevent tendonitis from happening in the long run, then you need to make sure that you are properly hydrated on a regular basis. Staying hydrated is essential for your muscles and tendons as it allows them to work correctly. Drinking plenty of water will also flush out any toxins that may be building up in your muscles.
You should also try to stretch your muscles on a regular basis in order to keep them loose and limber. This will help prevent any unnecessary strains or tears on your muscles and it will also increase your blood circulation as well.
You should also give your feet a break whenever you get the chance to. Wearing high quality running shoes when you go running is always a good idea, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to wear them all the time. Taking a break from your shoes and changing into some flip-flops or going barefoot for a little while will give your feet a chance to breathe. I recommend that you do this every couple of hours or so.
Ibuprofen and other over the counter pain killers will help to reduce any swelling and pain that is associated with the injury. R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is also a good idea as it will help to reduce any swelling that may be present.
It’s important to keep your achilles and the rest of your body stretched in order to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. Not everyone is aware of this, but your muscles actually get shorter if you don’t stretch them on a regular basis. The last thing that you want is for your achilles to get “locked” in a shortened position because it will cause enormous pain whenever you try to stretch it out.
If you are really serious about preventing injuries from happening in the future, then I highly recommend that you visit a physical therapist in your area on a regular basis. A physical therapist can help you to create an exercise routine that is personalized for your specific needs.
They can also provide you with special equipment that will help to strengthen your weaker muscles and to stretch your tight muscles as well. Most physical therapists will see you on a weekly basis and the visits are usually quite affordable.
On The Topic Of Home Remedies….
There are quite a few home remedies that you can try in order to treat your achilles tendinitis on your own. As with any remedy, you should try them at your own risk because some of these suggestions have not been proven to work. Always consult your doctor before trying anything new. That being said, here are some things that you can try:
Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) – One of the most commonly used drugs for treating pain and it also helps to reduce swelling as well. Be careful not to take it on an empty stomach because it can cause gastrointestinal bleedings. Always consult your doctor before taking any over the counter drugs.
Cortisone Shots – This is a very effective treatment option for several types of tendon problems. A cortisone shot can be used to ease the pain and swelling of your achilles tendon, but the effects only last for a few weeks. There are also some side effects including headaches and weight gain.
Cortisone is a powerful drug that should be used sparingly. It can have serious side effects if you have to take it for an extended period of time.
There is also the fact that the underlying problem of achilles tendinitis will still be present even after you get the shots. You’ll have to keep going back to your doctor in order to get more cortisone shots.
Or you can choose to try a more permanent solution such as having surgery or getting special injections into your achilles tendon. These solutions are effective, but they are also very expensive and not necessarily covered by insurance.
I know somebody who had achilles tendinitis for several years and chose to have surgery. He couldn’t walk at all until he had the operation on both of his achilles tendons and it costed him almost $100,000!
The surgery is effective, but it’s not worth going into that much debt in my opinion. I don’t have that kind of money so I would never be able to get the surgery anyway.
Cold Therapy – Placing an ice pack on your achilles for 20 minutes and then letting it rest for an hour or two provides some temporary relief. This is good for the pain, but it doesn’t do anything for the swelling.
You can get an ice pack from your local drug store, or you can even mash up some ice in a towel if you don’t have access to one.
Anti-inflammatory Medication – Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen help to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
You should take these with plenty of water to prevent kidney problems and other negative side effects.
The only problem with these types of drugs is that they don’t actually cure your achilles tendinitis. It just helps to mask the pain for a while so you can continue to play. You also risk internal bleeding and other serious side effects if you take these on a regular basis for a long period of time.
You need to see a medical professional about getting a cortisone shot or having surgery in order to get rid of this problem once and for all.
Also, make sure you’re keeping your achilles tendon well stretched and iced after each skating session.
Icing helps to relieve pain and reduces the size of the swollen area. Stretching relieves tension in the tendon and also prevents it from snapping inside your skate.
With proper treatment you should be able to get back to playing at a high level after just a few weeks on the sidelines.
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