Sports that Can Contribute to Achilles Tendon Pain

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your entire body. This tough, fibrous band connects your calf muscles to your heel bone.

Your Achilles tendon lets you flex your foot, point your foot, and stand on tip toe. Until it gives out.

If you’re having pain or dysfunction in your Achilles tendon, or you have heel pain or difficulty moving your foot, Michael J. Frazier, DPM, founder of The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center in Cypress, Texas, helps you understand why. 

The types of injuries that affect your Achilles heel include:

Below are a few of the sports and activities that create acute or overuse injuries in your Achilles tendon.

Running

Normally, a healthy Achilles tendon handles the stress of about 10 times your body weight when you step on your heel. The tendon is thickest at the area where it connects to your heel, because that’s where your body weight is centered when you walk.

The impact of running increases the stress on your Achilles tendon to about 12.5 times the weight of your body. That extra stress can create micro-traumas to your tendon. Your body needs about 100 days to repair those kinds of tiny rips and tears, so if you’re running daily and creating more and more micro-traumas, eventually your tendon gives out.

Sports that require running that could impact your Achilles tendon include:

Dr. Frazier recommends warming up your Achilles tendon with gentle stretches before you run or do sports.

Jumping

If simply running increases the amount of stress on your Achilles tendon, you can imagine how much that stress is amplified when you jump high in the air and then land on your heel or the ball of your foot. 

Sports that require jumping that could damage or rupture your Achilles tendon include:

When you have an Achilles tendon injury, you might first notice the pain when you rise on your tiptoes to try to take off for a jump or leap. 

Stopping short or pivoting

Sports that require switching directions quickly while running can damage your Achilles tendon and other structures in your leg, including the soft tissues in your knee. 

Some examples of sports that could tear your Achilles tendon because of quick directional changes include:

You’re more likely to injure your Achilles tendon if you increase the length or intensity of your workouts without allowing time for your body to adjust to the changes.

Getting help for your Achilles tendon

Achilles tendon pain can take you out of your favorite sport or activity for months or years. Get ahead of your injury by coming in for an evaluation and treatment at the first sign of pain or discomfort in your heel or in the back of your leg. If your calf or heel pain doesn’t respond to the RICE protocol (Rest, Icing, Compression, Elevation), Dr. Frazier may recommend:

Give your Achilles tendon the care it needs to heal by contacting us today. Phone our office at 281-607-1863 or use our online appointment form.

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