Achilles Tendonitis Treatment
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Your Achilles tendon is on the back of the leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis is defined as irritation or inflammation to the Achilles tendon — and it’s usually felt on the back of the heel.
Preventing Achilles Tendonitis with Stretching and Shoe Insoles
When it comes to Achilles tendonitis, prevention is the most effective form of treatment. Once you have Achilles tendonitis, you will be unable to participate in regular activities for weeks — if not longer. Therefore focusing on prevention is the best option. So how do you prevent Achilles tendonitis?
- Daily stretching of the calf, ankle, and heel
- Orthotic shoe inserts or gel heel cups
Both are stretching and orthotics are important to prevent Achilles tendonitis — daily stretching maintains the flexibility of the tendon, which reduces chances for tendonitis. And because foot mechanics are the other leading cause of Achilles tendonitis, working with orthotics — such as heel wedges or arch support — can help correct improper foot mechanics that are overly-straining the Achilles tendon.
Treating Achilles Tendonitis
If you do find that you have pain related to Achilles tendonitis, some of the best approaches to treatment include:
- Rest: refrain from athletic activities until you feel fully recovered and your heel and ankle are pain-free. You might also want to consider immobilization in the form of a walking boot.
- Ice: once or twice a day, up to 20 minutes at a time.
- Anti-inflammatory medications: such as ibuprophen
It is also important to inform your doctor of your condition and avoid cortisone injections, which create a greater likelihood of tendon rupture
Achilles tendonitis can be a pain, but there are modest and inexpensive approaches to treatment that will get you back on your feet. If you are an athlete or at risk for Achilles tendonitis, make sure you stretch your heel and ankle regularly, and wear heel inserts to ensure your Achilles is in proper alignment. If you do experience tendonitis, resting, icing, and anti-inflammatories will usually do the trick.