To reduce your chance of developing Achilles tendon problems, follow these tips:

  • Stretch and strengthen calf muscles. Stretch your calf to the point at which you feel a noticeable pull, but not pain. Don't bounce during a stretch. Calf-strengthening exercises can also help the muscle and tendon absorb more force and prevent injury.
  • Vary your exercises. Alternate high-impact sports, such as running, with low-impact sports, such as walking, biking or swimming. Avoid activities that place excessive stress on your Achilles tendons, such as hill-running and jumping activities.
  • Choose running surfaces carefully. Avoid or limit running on hard or slippery surfaces. Dress properly for cold-weather training and wear well-fitting athletic shoes with proper cushioning in the heels.
  • Increase training intensity slowly. Achilles tendon injuries commonly occur after a person abruptly increases his or her training intensity. Increase the distance, duration and frequency of your training by no more than 10 percent each week.
Sep. 23, 2011