Achilles Tendon Pain Prevention and Recovery

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional athlete, keen runner or just out for that weekend run or ride!  It’s important that your lower limbs – legs and feet, are conditioned prior to any physical activity.

PREPARATION

Stretching and warm-up are essential to avoid any foot pain or injuries such as Achilles tendon pain.

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, and although the Achilles can withstand a great amount of tension, it’s still susceptible to injury.  Ruptures , which are partial tears that can occur when the tendon is stretched beyond its limits are often common.  Sudden pain, a popping sensation, swelling and difficulty in walking are all signs that a rupture has occurred.

To prevent further damage to the Achilles, prompt treatment is essential.

You would know this as being the R.I.C.E method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

REST

Rest joints and limbs.  Further activity could cause further damage and pain. Immediately cease any activities and rest your foot.

ICE

Apply ice or similar coolant to the area as indicated, but not directly onto the skin as this could cause a cold-burn to the skin.  Apply ice or similar frozen coolant through a protective material barrier next to the skin.  Cooling the area will alleviate the pain.

COMPRESSION

Wrap the foot and ankle snuggly to minimise swelling.   Gently and evenly compressing the injured area with bandages, elastic wraps and air casts or special boots to splint the area may help minimise inflammation of the injured area.

ELEVATION

By elevating the foot and ankle, this will also help reduce swelling.

Seek rehabilitation from your Podiatrist or GP after swelling has reduced.    In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary to repair any damaged Achilles.  Generally, rehabilitation treatment may be in the form of a Biomechanical Assessment.  Specially designed Stretching Exercises and possibly Orthotic Management to re-balance and stabilize the foot in order to prevent further injury.

Photo Credit: hondurasthisweek_online via Compfight cc

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