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How to treat Achilles Tendonitis

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sore calf muscles

Do your calf muscles feel tight after you exercise or take a short walk? Do you notice that your heels are sore, or do you feel heat coming from your heels?

If so it is quite possible that you have Achilles Tendonitis. Achilles Tendonitis affects over 25% of athletes who run, play tennis or any other sport that requires quick foot movements.

Your Achilles Heel is used when you walk, run, jump or stand on the balls of your feet. Therefore it is very important to prevent injuries to the Tendon, and treat the Tendonitis properly if it is ever injured.

The Pain behind Achilles Tendonitis

achilles heel

The Achilles is a large tendon connecting the two major calf muscles which are the Gastrocnemius and Soleus to the back of the heel (calcaneus). Achilles Tendonitis is when the Tendon becomes stressed and starts to constrict with inflammation.

The Achilles Tendon is one of the strongest tendons in the human body, however, overworking the tendon daily can cause serious damage and become inflamed. If left untreated over time the tendon will form a scar tissue which is less flexible than the original tendon, and it will become easier to tear.

rope tear

If your Achilles Tendon tears the only solution is to have surgery performed, and your heel can be permanently deformed. Think of the Achilles Tendon as a rope. It has tiny strains formed together to form one strong band. The Achilles tendon has small fiberlike proteins which are called collagens. Stress to the tendon forms microfiber tears in the collagens which cause inflammation, and there you have the pain behind Achilles Tendonitis.

Symptoms and Causes of Achilles Tendonitis

The symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis include:

  • Sharp pain in the heel area.
  • Sore around heels.
  • Cracking sound from scar tissue rubbing against the tendon.
  • Limited ankle flexibility.
  • Redness around the heel area.
  • Heat coming from your heel.
  • Tight calf muscles.

Here are the Causes of Achilles Tendonitis:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Improper stretching before exercise.
  • Wearing high heels for long periods of time.
  • Poor shoes that allow your Achilles to twist.
  • Running uphill excessively.
  • Overtraining (increasing mileage too quickly).

Preventing Achilles Tendonitis

night splint

The most obvious thing to do would be to stop your training or exercise for a bit. Practice the R.I.C.E treatment daily, and be sure to give your heels and calfs some rest throughout the day, you will benefit from it. It also may be beneficial to wear a night splint before bed, or a walking boot throughout the day.

Achilles Tendonitis Stretches


One of the most well-known treatments is the Achilles Tendonitis Stretches. This method has been used to successfully since 1950 and is still effective today.

  1. To perform these stretches find a surface such as a curb or step and place the ball of your foot on it.
  2. With your heel hanging, slowly lower your heel with your leg stretched
  3. Hold this position for ten seconds.
  4. Switch to the other foot and repeat.
  5. Perform 15 repetitions daily until the pain slowly resides.

When you start exercising again, make sure to slowly increase it. If your sport is running try things like jumping jacks, then jumping rope etc. It is suggested that you wait six to eight weeks before returning back to your normal routine. It is wise to avoid further injury at all cost because the next injury could result in having surgery performed. When Achilles Tendonitis Surgery is performed, the doctor will scrape the scar tissue from the tendon. When this scar tissue is scraped there is a high risk of creating more scar tissue. Other complications are:

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis ( blood clots deep in the veins).
  • Hematomata (blood clots inside the tissue).

How to Treat Achilles Tendonitis

speaking with a doctor

After performing all the treatments above you are still asking yourself, “how to treat Achilles Tendonitis” then a doctor may have to be your next step. Once you visit the doctor he/she will ask you to stand on the balls of your foot to test your ranges of mobility. The doctor may also pinch your Achilles, this will tell the doctor exactly where the pain is coming from, so he/she can properly diagnose you. If you are at the early stages of Achilles Tendonitis, a doctor can perform an Ultrasound to discover if there is any inflammation involved.

Another option would be to receive and MRI scan to discover if any of your tissue as degenerated. Iontophoresis with Dexamethasone can be injected and administered by a doctor to reduce inflammation and aid other healing properties.

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The Plantar Fasciitis E-Book will help Achilles Tendonitis as well and reduce the pain from it. These two injuries are closely related to runner injuries and I aim to help everyone of my fellow runners get back on track!

 

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