If you love tennis (and don’t love scoring “Love”), you might be preparing for the annual Adult Tennis Tournament held at Winslow Sports Complex in September. And even if you’ve never picked up a racket, the courts at Winslow are often open to the public as a great place to try tennis out. Whether you’re just starting a new activity or are a seasoned pro, you’ll want to do what you can to prevent Achilles tendon sports injuries such as inflammation or a full-blown rupture. Let’s give you some tips from the sideline.
Take Time to Stretch and Strengthen – Stretching and exercise will condition your tendons to help avoid injury when exerting yourself. Not only can this be made into a regular routine, but stretching is also important during 5-10 minute warm-up and cool-down sessions around workouts and spots as well. The best kind of stretch for your Achilles will produce a noticeable pull in your calf muscle, but not go so far as to hurt. Don’t bounce while stretching, either.
Train Up Slowly – Many sports injuries, especially in the Achilles, happen because the patient increased the intensity of their training or playing too quickly, before their bodies had a chance to adjust. A good rough figure for training or building up activity is an increase of about 10 percent intensity per week.
Wear the Proper Footwear – Wear a good, well-fitting pair of shoes that are made for your sport and have sound cushioning in the heel. That blow-out pair of sneakers in the back of your closet won’t cut it.
Vary Yourself – Doing the same activity or exercises over and over again will increase your risk of overuse and injury. Switch up high-impact sports with lower-impact activities such as walking, biking, or swimming. This holistic approach to exercise will increase your overall abilities, too!
If you have been suffering from foot or heel pain during activities, or would like further advice on preventing sports injuries, then Dr. Kevin Powers would love to see you. Schedule an appointment with our Bloomington office and take the first step toward finding relief or upping your game. Just call (812) 333-4422.