The preseason of NFL football is always muddled with a wide variety of injuries. Most injuries stem from a drastic increase in activity within a short period of time. A good amount of injuries found in the NFL preseason are foot and ankle related.  These injuries tend to be turf toe, ankle sprains, ankle strains, and sometimes even a devastating Achilles rupture. Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens had a hard time after partially tearing his Achilles Tendon last year, recovery was a tough road that was luckily a short one for him.

However, the usual recovery time for a torn Achilles tendon can be from 6 months to a year based on the level of the injury and the age of the person. The Achilles tendon is the body’s largest and strongest tendon in the body. When injured, the person might hear a popping or a snapping sound and will have little ability to bear any weight.It is a drastic and painful injury.

Symptoms:

  • Popping or snapping sound followed by extreme pain
  • Inability to bear weight on injured leg
  • Inability to bend the foot downward
  • Inability to push up on toes 
  • Swelling and tenderness

Common causes:

  • When starting an exercise program or getting back in to a season, taking gradual steps to warm your body up will decrease the chances of injury
  • A sudden weight increase can often be a cause of injury. Be careful to take it slow as to not overstress your body after weight gain. 
  • Inflexibility is a large cause of Achilles tendon injuries. Exercise the following stretches to keep your Achilles tendon limber. 

Strengthening and Stretching Exercises: 

  • Walking Calf Raise: You can do this in a gym or just walking around.  When you walk around, push yourself up onto your toes with each step. Do as many as you like!
  • Resistance Band Plantarflexion: Use either a resistance band, and loop it around your foot. Hold the band in your hands and point your foot away from your body. Start with 3 sets of 10 a day and move up to 4 sets of 20. After doing this exercise a few times, you can easily build up the resistance by holding more of the band in your hands.
  • Seated Calf Raise: This exercise is to strengthen your Soleus muscles and is perfect if you have a job where you sit all day.All you have to do is sit in your chair and raise your feet up on your toes. Do 3 sets of 10 at first and keep increasing the reps each day.
  • Bent-knee Calf Raise: To strengthen the Soleus muscle alone, do a calf raise, but with your knee bent slightly.Do 3 sets of 10 for each leg.
  • Calf Raise: Stand on the edge of a step on the balls of your feet. Lower your heels down slowly ,both at the same time.Place the emphasis on the downward motion, and come back up on the balls. Repeat as many times is comfortable.

If you have any questions about Achilles tendon injuries or any other foot and ankle question, please contact us at Carmel Foot Specialists,P.A. 


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