An athlete is no stranger to injury, and one of the most common injuries athletes suffer from is Achilles Tendonitis. An injury like this starts gradually over time, starting as minor aches and grows into debilitating pain if not treated early.
It is due to overuse of the Achilles tendon, the band of muscles that connects the calf to the heel and is commonly mistaken for heel pain since the area of pain is behind the heel. Intense exercise, jumping and strenuous activities that put strain on the calf muscles and the tendon can cause inflammation resulting in your pain.
Most cases of Achilles tendonitis are treated in the home with proper supervision from a doctor. These simple self-care methods are needed to prevent reoccurring episodes. Self-care methods include rest, icing, compression wraps and elevation of the effected foot to reduce swelling. Medication used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain would be any over the counter anti-inflammatory drug prescribed by your doctor.
Stretching and exercising are also a part of the treatment. Stretching your knees in both a bent and straightened position; and exercising your calf muscles can help in the healing process. Your doctor can show you proper techniques of stretching.
As we get older we find that our tendons become less flexible and more susceptible to injury. So it is imperative to stretch daily in order to strengthen your calf muscles, and wear properly fitted shoes on all occasions. And if you are a beginner to the exercise world or starting a new regimen, gradually increase your duration and intensity.
If all else fails and your Achilles tendonitis reoccurs then surgery might be your best option, however several treatments have emerged allowing patients to avoid surgery. Alternative treatments prior to open surgery (if conservative therapy fails) such as platelet enriched plasma, radio frequency wave therapy, and ultrasonic sound wave therapy, known as ESWT, can be employed.
To get on the road to a pain free environment contact the Ankle & Foot Centers today for a consultation so we can recommend the best treatment for you.