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How do I Prevent a Tendon Injury?

Preventing tendon injuries starts with understanding the balance between activity and rest. Strengthening exercises, proper technique, and adequate warm-ups are crucial. Nutrition also plays a role—foods rich in collagen can support tendon health. Remember, listening to your body's signals is key. Want to know which exercises and foods are best? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide with helpful visuals.
Matt Zuchowski
Matt Zuchowski

To prevent tendon injury, you should warm up through range-of-motion exercises, rest your tendons when you can and utilize ice packs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) whenever you feel discomfort. When possible, avoid repetitive activities that strain tendons. What might seem like a sudden tendon injury is often the result of many small tendon tears that have built up over time.

Tendon injury, also known as tendinopathy, primarily occurs from the overexertion of tendons The first way to prevent this is to stretch and strengthen your muscles with warm-up exercises. Strong muscles and tendons can endure greater use, and proper exercise can lead to further flexibility in these areas.

This diagram shows some common problems with the Achilles tendon.
This diagram shows some common problems with the Achilles tendon.

Even the strongest muscles are subject to tendon injury when abused, and it is necessary to get the proper rest and treatment after utilizing these muscles. If you feel discomfort in your tendons, utilize ice packs and/or NSAIDs, and stop putting pressure on your tendons as soon as possible. After completing exercises, take a cool-down period and rest even, if you feel fine.

Tennis elbow is a condition resulting from the overuse of the wrist and forearm.
Tennis elbow is a condition resulting from the overuse of the wrist and forearm.

The greatest causes of tendon injury are activities that continually put stress and pressure on a specific tendon, as is the case with tennis elbow. The demands of your profession might force you to utilize your tendons in a strenuous manner, but make sure that you be careful when using these areas of your body. You also might be wise to avoid using them as much as possible outside of your particular job, sport or hobby.

A physiotherapist can help athletes prevent certain sports-related inuries.
A physiotherapist can help athletes prevent certain sports-related inuries.

A misconception of tendon injuries, especially Achilles tendon tears, is that they happen suddenly and without warning. Over time, your tendons suffer many small tears. Eventually, a major tendon injury can be the result of these small tears that accumulate and force the tendon to give way.

If you feel discomfort in a tendon, visit a physician, and undergo an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam if necessary. Rupturing an Achilles tendon can be devastating, and a full recovery requires a grueling rehabilitation process. Recognizing and treating a lesser injury now will hopefully prevent a more serious injury.

Discomfort is usually a sign that a tendon needs rest, ice, and pain medication.
Discomfort is usually a sign that a tendon needs rest, ice, and pain medication.

For runners and other athletes who put constant pressure on the Achilles tendon, use heel-cushioning shoes to give some relief to the area that is facing such exertion. Small relief now might prevent major injury later, and it is a worthwhile investment to your body to buy a specific pair of heel-cushioning shoes. Check your local sporting goods store for availability and information on the best models.

Most of all, do not ignore any discomfort. It likely is a sign that your tendon needs rest, ice packs, NSAIDs or all of the above. Fighting through discomfort without proper treatment is the recipe for a serious tendon injury and could do nothing but make your life more difficult going forward.

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    • This diagram shows some common problems with the Achilles tendon.
      By: Alila
      This diagram shows some common problems with the Achilles tendon.
    • Tennis elbow is a condition resulting from the overuse of the wrist and forearm.
      By: Galina Barskaya
      Tennis elbow is a condition resulting from the overuse of the wrist and forearm.
    • A physiotherapist can help athletes prevent certain sports-related inuries.
      By: Monkey Business
      A physiotherapist can help athletes prevent certain sports-related inuries.
    • Discomfort is usually a sign that a tendon needs rest, ice, and pain medication.
      By: Rido
      Discomfort is usually a sign that a tendon needs rest, ice, and pain medication.