The Link Between Your Lifestyle and Achilles Tendonitis 82

The Link Between Your Lifestyle and Achilles Tendonitis

The following article is a guest post.

If you feel a painful swelling above your heel, then you might be suffering from Achilles tendonitis. This injury can occur to anyone whether you’re an athlete or an active person who engages in intense physical activities.

Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that stretches from your heel bones to your calf muscles. This injury can either be mild or moderate. If you feel a severe pain, your Achilles tendon may be partially torn or fully ruptured.

There are actually two types of Achilles tendonitis, based on the inflamed portion of the tendon:

  • Noninsertional Achilles Tendonitis. This type of injury happens when the fibers in the middle part of your tendon start to degenerate, swell, and thicken. Younger, active people are more prone to this type of tendon injury.
  • Insertional Achilles Tendonitis. This type of injury occurs on the lower part of the heel. An extra bone growth often forms with this type of injury. This usually develops from years of overuse and can happen anytime even if you’re not active.

Are You at Risk?

The following determined risk factors can make you susceptible to this injury:

  • Habits and lifestyle. Running in damaged shoes and on a hilly terrain can increase your risk of this tendon problem. Wearing high heels also puts too much stress your tendon. Studies have shown that people who are overweight and with high body-mass index (BMI) are also prone to Achilles tendonitis.
  • Age. People above 30 years old are more prone to Achilles tendon injuries.
  • Sex. Men are more vulnerable to this injury.
  • Physical Issues. People with fallen arches or flat feet are predisposed to Achilles tendonitis. This means the arch of your foot collapses each time you take a step. Other physical issues associated with Achilles tendonitis include obesity and tight leg muscles.
  • Medical Conditions. High blood pressure and psoriasis are two medical conditions that will increase your risk of Achilles tendonitis.
  • Weather. Tendon irritation happens more often in cold weather.
  • Medications. Certain medications like fluoroquinolones are being linked to Achilles tendonitis.

Causes of Achilles tendonitis

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Achilles tendonitis is normally not linked to any particular injury. This health issue generates from intense or repetitive stress to the tendon. It is common for people who do certain sports that involve sudden acceleration and deceleration including basketball, volleyball, tennis, running, and football.

These injuries often occur when you push your bodies to work too much, abruptly. For example, a basketball player might do a crossover move to confuse his opponent. This quick motion can be intolerable for the tendon to manage.

Having an extra bone growth can also cause Achilles tendonitis especially if the bone growth happens in the spot where the Achilles tendon links to the heel bone. You’ll feel the pain when the bone spur rubs against the tendon.

Signs and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis

Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis start as a mild pain above your heel or the back of your leg after doing sports. The pain intensifies after you do any prolonged physical activity. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Stiffness or tenderness of the Achilles tendon, especially in the morning;
  • Thickening of the tendon;
  • Extra bone growth or bone spurs.

If you felt something snapped at the back of your heel and feel a persistent pain, you probably have a ruptured Achilles tendon. When this happens, seek medical help immediately.

Management of Achilles tendonitis:

To relieve the pain, you can do this self-care strategy also known as RICE.

  • Rest. Avoid any activity that might strain your Achilles tendon. If you have a severe case, you can use crutches or wear a walking boot.
  • Ice. Apply an ice pack on the Achilles tendon for about 15 minutes. This will reduce the swelling and pain in the area.
  • Compression. To decrease swelling and limit the tendon’s movement, apply compressive elastic bandages or wraps.
  • Elevation. Elevate your foot above your heart’s level to decrease swelling.

Doing some strength training exercises can speed up the healing process. You can also try wearing orthotic devices, like a shoe insert or wedge, to raise your heel slightly. The insert or wedge can provide additional support and cushion to the relieve strain on your heel and Achilles tendon.

When to seek medical treatment?

If the pain still persists after six months, then it’s time to seek medical help. Check your body temperature using a forehead thermometer and seek consultation immediately if the reading indicates a fever, which can be a sign of infection.

In most cases, Achilles tendonitis often occurs in athletes and people who participate in extreme recreational activities. Address Achilles tendonitis early before it becomes a recurring injury that limits your productivity.

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The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

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While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.