Doc Talk | Achilles Injuries in Men
It’s often in professional sports that we hear of problems with the achilles tendon.
But Achilles problems can happen to anyone, and they’re more common in men than women.
Studies show men tend to have more issues with their achilles than women.
And the achilles tendon is no joke , it’s just a tendon but it could land you in a boot or surgery if you don’t take care of it properly.
Runners are the people we most often hear having problems with their achilles tendon.
But the truth is it can happen to anyone.
“usually there’s some sort of overuse activity and it doesn’t have to be anything over strenuous. It could have been walking a lot on vacation or taking a hike to see fall foliage,” says Dr. Michael Werner, orthopaedic surgeon at Geisinger Holy Spirit
The achilles is the biggest tendon in the foot.
It can be inflamed or it can tear, either way causing major pain when walking.
And doctors say it tends to be more common in men.
“Men’s feet are a little bigger and the foot is like a lever so the tendon has to work a little harder to propel guys that are typically bigger than women,” says Werner
Most commonly, tight calves are to blame for achilles tendonitis, or an inflamed achilles.
But when it comes to an actual tear, blood supply doesn’t help either.
“So the blood supply comes from the outside in, so when the tendon tears, it starts to tear from the inside out,” he says.
The reason that’s troubling is that if the tendon is tearing, it will feel mostly normal until it’s too late. Depending on severity, achilles problems can land you in a boot, surgery.
But it can also be treated the same way it can be prevented.
“keeping it flexible is important for prevention, so stretching the calf muscles is important for prevention,” he says.
Physical therapy is also recommended when signs of achilles tendonitis first present themselves.
Surgery is really only necessary; Dr. Werner says if there’s a tear in the tendon.