Be Careful with New Year’s Resolutions

Last summer, Canadian women’s soccer captain, Christine Sinclair, injured her Achilles tendon while playing for the Portland Thorns. Thankfully, according to the sports report on cbc.ca, her injury was not serious, but for athletes—amateur or professional—injury to the Achilles tendon can hold up activity for six weeks or more.

In the New Year, many folks resolve to battle the bulge by increasing the amount of exercise they do. For a lot of people who don’t have the time or money for gyms, that exercise may take the form of running. After all, you just have to throw on some comfy clothes and a pair of sneakers and head out the door, right? Wrong! This approach may have you blowing your resolution sooner than you think.

Potential Injuries

All that New Year’s enthusiasm will be wasted if you do too much too soon or if you don’t invest in a new pair of running shoes before you start. Pushing your body too hard when it’s unaccustomed to exercise, may result in injury and around ten percent of running injuries affect the Achilles tendon, a thick band of tissue that runs down the back of each lower leg connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone.

Hard running surfaces, poor running form, or structural foot problems are also risk factors for this injury. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is known as tendinitis; a more severe injury would be a tendon rupture. Initial symptoms of tendinitis are a mild ache in the back of the leg or heel during exercise. More intense pain is experienced with stair climbing or sprinting. An audible popping sound together with severe pain indicate tendon rupture.

Solutions

If you experience pain, redness or swelling at the back of your leg or heel, try applying ice packs several times a day and taking anti-inflammatory medication. If the problem persists, contact a Toronto-based podiatrist like, Sheldon H. Nadal. He will provide an accurate diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan that may include Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT). When conservative treatments fail, ESWT is an alternative to surgery; it uses high intensity sound waves to expedite healing.

 

Resources:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/christine-sinclair-has-left-ankle-achilles-tendon-strain-1.3208176

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001072.htm

http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/achilles-tendinitis

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/achilles-tendinitis/basics/definition/con-20024518

http://running.competitor.com/2014/03/injury-prevention/beat-achilles-tendinitis_97105