Disclaimer: Please be aware that information in this article is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.
Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano BA-Kin, CAT(C), ISSA-CPT
Athletic Therapist, Personal Trainer
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the achilles tendon. There can be various causes for developing this condition. Achilles tendonitis is common among active individuals and mostly in the athletic population as a whole. I have seen many patients with this condition from working individual to elite athletes. This condition can be detrimental as it assist with a simple daily movement like walking.
The achilles tendons are located behind your ankle. It is a thick band of connective tissues (tendon) which are formed by the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles that inserts down to the tip of the calcaneal bone. Its function is to help with the toe off when walking, jumping and climbing.
The signs and symptoms of achilles tendonitis are:
1. Depending on the severity of the injury, rest is the most important treatment protocol. You need to keep the achilles tendon in the most comfortable position (neutral). Rest the injured ankle until the inflammation subside before taking another step forward with rehabilitation.
2. If your ankle is feeling achy, you can apply ice on the injured tendon. I suggest ice assage so that you can control where the ice is applied over the painful area. Use an ice cube or a dixie cup with ice for 10-15 minutes applied directly to the skin. Move the ice in a circular motion as if you are massaging the sore area.
3. If the symptoms persist, visit your Athletic Therapist where they will treat your injury with various treatment techniques. For example, they may first heat the injured area to bring blood flow, use ultrasound to help with deep heating to the tissue to bring nutrients into the area and simply massage to loosen the muscles that are tight. These tight muscles could be partially responsible for the development of the condition.
Here are three prevention tips to ease pain.
1. Use the strassburg sock or a night splint that will allow your ankle to be in a neutral position. This device can be used for plantar fasciitis as well. This is helping to lengthen the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles during the night.
2. Perform calf stretches daily. You have two stretches that are important to help alleviate achilles pain. A) Straight knee stretch B) Bent knee stretch Both are targeting the calves that will help with the achilles tendon.
3. Add standing and seated calf raises to your training. This will help strengthen the gastronemius-soleus complex that will also improve muscular endurance during daily functional movements of the ankles.
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