This is a guest post from AspenFootandAnkle.com, a Utah County foot doctor. Aspen Foot & Ankle believes that prompt diagnosis, early intervention and prevention are essential for the care and treatment of your foot. Dr. Savage is dedicated to providing quality foot and ankle care to patients in a caring and open environment.
What is it: The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the leg to the heel. An Achilles heel, as in Greek mythology, is a weakness at this part of the foot. Tendons are very sensitive and can be injured pretty easily.
Achilles tendonitis is inflammation and degeneration of the tendon on the back of the heel. This can be extremely painful and lengthy injury if not caught early on.
How to treat it: Slowly and methodically increase the stamina of your muscles and tendons by building up endurance rather than forcing them to perform at a level they are not ready for.
Once contracted, here are some simple steps to take to alleviate the pain:
- Rest. Stay off of the injured area as much as possible to speed up the healing process. Continue to stay active by performing lower impact activities.
- Cold ice, used periodically but stopped when the skin gets numb.
- Simple exercises stretching out the calf muscle and heel.
- Pain relieving medications used responsibly.
If rest and the simple pain relieving steps listed above prove not to reduce the pain in the tendon, more complex solutions may be an option. Seek the advice of a foot an ankle surgeon if unsure.
How to prevent it: Active sports players are at the most risk of injuries to their Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is most often contracted by a sudden repetitive activity on one area. For example, suddenly taking up jump rope and not building up stamina in the muscles could cause pain in the Achilles tendon.
As always, it is infinitely better to avoid Achilles tendonitis and other sports injuries when at all possible.