Medically Reviewed By | Johannah Gregg, DNP FNP-C
The Achilles tendon is important in supporting your bodyweight and contributing to your agility. However, its important role can make it more subject to potential injury.
At Incrediwear, we believe supporting your joints, tendons, and muscles is critical for improved performance and injury prevention. We want to highlight dependable types of support for your Achilles tendon.
What Is The Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is responsible for connecting the muscles in the back of the calf to the heel bone. The tendon is a fibrous band of tissue that connects these muscles.
The Achilles tendon is important in jumping, running, and walking and can take on a large amount of stress during these activities. The tendon is resilient, but too much stress can take a toll.
Why Should I Support My Achilles Tendon?
Since the tendon is at the back of the foot, it is responsible for supporting a large amount of weight, especially during activity. Unfortunately, this responsibility makes the Achilles tendon rather vulnerable to potential injury.
As a result, there are several reasons to support the Achilles tendon. One common injury of the Achilles is tendinitis.
Tendinitis is the result of inflammation due to overuse of the tendon. In more severe situations, overstretching the tendon can lead to a tear, also known as a rupture.
An Achilles injury can happen at any point due to immediate stress on the tendon. Situations that can lead to a rupture include intense sports that involve quick changes in direction, like soccer or football.
Jumping sports like gymnastics and basketball can also cause a rupture. Other situations like falling from a few feet or stepping into a hole can overstress the tendon.
Consistent activity playing sports can also lead to overexertion of the tendon, inflammation, and tendinitis. The high risk of an Achilles injury makes it important to provide added support, especially during intense exercise and activities. Supporting the tendon is key to reinforcing the tendon and reducing the risk of injury.
Signs of an Achilles Injury
It is best to support your ankle before an injury occurs, but it is important to know what symptoms to look for. Signs of Achilles tendon rupture include:
- Pain or swelling near the heel
- Inability to bend the foot with the toes pointing downward
- Consistent soreness in the calf
- Difficulty standing on your toes
- The sound of a pop or snap at the time of injury
Symptoms of tendinitis are similar to the above symptoms but milder. Tendinitis is often associated with more inflammation and will not be accompanied by a sound.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact a doctor. Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment plan and help you establish your road to recovery.
Potential Risk Factors for an Achilles Injury
Some people should consider supporting their Achilles more than others, as a few factors make an injury more likely. Think through the following factors when considering whether you should support your ankle.
Age: People are most at risk for Achilles tear between 30 and 40.
Activity: People who frequently play sports have a higher risk of injury. Sports requiring agile movements like tennis, basketball, soccer, and football are risky as sudden stops, starts, and changes of direction can greatly increase the stress on the Achilles.
Sex: Men are more likely to experience a tendon rupture than women.
Weight: Obesity is one of the most significant risk factors, as excess weight puts more stress on the tendon while walking or moving around.
Side Effects of Certain Medications: This includes fluoroquinolones such as Cipro or levaquin.
What Are Dependable Types of Support for the Achilles Tendon?
Supporting your Achilles tendon is a good idea to reduce your risk for injury. However, depending on your health and activity, there are various support levels. The following are the most dependable options.
1. Bandage Wrap
A bandage wrap is one of the most basic support options you can choose, but it is still a very effective one. The art of a bandage wrap is in its simplicity. With a bandage wrap, it is important to wrap the bandage around the heel and ankle to provide the most support.
The bandage wrap is also helpful in that it is adjustable. When wrapping the ankle, you can wrap the bandage as tight or loose as you want, depending on the support you need and what feels most comfortable.
2. Ankle Brace
An ankle brace is one of the most supportive options for your Achilles tendon, as it is stronger and more rigid than other options. However, due to its rigidity, a brace often reduces your mobility and is not always the best option for sports.
Braces are typically most helpful when you are experiencing slight discomfort in the tendon or if you have a more severe injury and a doctor recommends the added support. A brace can be small and support around the ankle or as big as a boot around the entire foot.
Johannah Gregg, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Certified Family Nurse Practitioner notes, “Braces can be used as an alternative when not actively participating in sports to enhance recovery time.”
3. Ankle Sleeve
An ankle sleeve helps to provide added support to the tendon and helps brace the ankle. While a sleeve provides less support than a brace, it does provide more mobility. Dr. Gregg notes that sleeves can be worn all day to promote faster recovery. You see even more significant benefits when using a sleeve equipped with semiconductor-embedded technology.
Incrediwear technology ankle sleeves use a semiconductor material that creates cellular vibrations and increases blood flow. Improved circulation to a tendon or muscle helps to reduce the chance of injury. Decreased blood flow to the Achilles tendon is one factor that makes the tendon more likely to rupture, which is why the Incrediwear sleeve is so valuable.
Find the Support You Need
With the risks that can affect your Achilles tendon, giving yourself additional ankle support is never a bad idea, especially if you’re an athlete. Learn more about how Incrediwear technology can provide you with the support you want during exercise and physical activity.
Our products don’t only provide your muscles, tendons, and joints with added support– they promote healing and enhance your overall performance. Try them for yourself and experience the difference. Explore the complete collection of Incrediwear products to find what works best for you.