It’s still annoyingly cold here in NYC, although who’s to complain about the relatively balmy winter we’ve had, especially compared to the winter wonderland of last year. At some point we are going to emerge from hibernation in New York City and other regions, and get ourselves moving again. A long winter makes for creaky joints, muscles and tendons, so here is some advice from your NYC podiatrist:
Mobilize That Achilles:
If you saw the movie Troy, you’ll remember Achilles- Brad Pitt’s character from Homer’s old myth in this slightly forgettable film- who died of a small heel wound. The Achilles tendon is the longest and strongest tendon in the body, and plays an important role in planting the foot as well as helping the leg to move onto the next step. We need the Achilles to be strong and flexible both to provide the strength to walk and run, as well as help the foot to clear the ground for each step. A tight Achilles tendon forces the body to pronate, an action that involves pushing the arch down closer to the ground. When this happens, the pressure on the bottom of the foot increases, leading to painfully familiar maladies such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and tendonitis. That’s why I commonly instruct patients in my NYC Podiatry office to stretch the Achilles tendon as often as possible.
Is that hard to do?
I’m glad you asked. The answer is no. A few simple stretches available here, performed as many times a day as possible can be very effective. Try 5-10 reps of your favorite stretch before getting out of and into bed and at mealtimes. The Achilles tendon can even be stretched from a sitting position while sitting at a desk. Lift the toes upward until feeling a pull in the legs and hold it for a few seconds. Repeat that as many times a day as feels comfortable. This will help relieve heel pain and tendonitis, and make for a loose and strong Achilles tendon.
Any questions? Ok then, let’s get moving, and see you in the office.
Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson