Achilles tendonitis is an injury of the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. It is caused by overuse and symptoms may include pain, stiffness and swelling along the Achilles tendon, severe pain the day after exercising, and thickening of the tendon. It is a common issue in middle-aged people who play sports, such as tennis, squash, or basketball only on the weekends.
Should you see a doctor?
If you feel only minor discomfort that dissipates quickly, you can put off seeing a doctor for the time being. Moderate Achilles tendon injuries should heal on their own, too, and can be treated with relatively simple, at-home care, but under your doctor’s supervision. It is always better to check with your doctor first so he can suggest the best combination of strategies.
However, if you experience a sudden “pop” in the back of your calf or heel, and a pain that affects your ability to walk, you might have ruptured (torn) your Achilles tendon. See your sports medicine expert in Boca Raton immediately.
A proper examination is always recommended to assess the severity of the injury since more-serious cases of Achilles tendonitis may require surgical intervention.
At-home remedies for Achilles tendonitis
- Try the RICE method:
- Rest your leg. Avoid using the injured area or putting weight on your leg for as long as you can.
- Ice it. Apply ice to your injury for up to 20 minutes at a time as needed. The ice should not touch the skin directly.
- Compress your leg. Use an elastic bandage around the lower leg and ankle to keep down swelling.
- Elevate it. Keep the area raised above the level of the heart to reduce swelling.
- Try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen will help with pain and swelling. Always follow the instructions on the label and, if you suffer from asthma, kidney disease, liver disease, or allergies, check with your doctor first to ask if taking NSAIDs is safe for you.
- Use a heel lift. Your doctor may recommend that you wear an insert in your shoe while you recover. It will help protect your Achilles tendon from further stretching.
- Try physical therapy. Decreasing activity is important in the case of the Achilles tendon injury, but sometimes gentle stretches and exercises are recommended and may be helpful to rehabilitate tendon problems, especially when they are persistent.
How long will it take to get better?
Remember that at-home treatment remedies are aimed at relieving pain and reducing swelling of minor Achilles tendon injuries. The choice of treatment should depend on the severity of the condition, whether the patient is a professional athlete or not, and should always be checked with a sports medicine specialist or an orthopedic surgeon in Boca Raton.
The recovery may take days, weeks or months, depending on how serious the injury is. Don’t try to push yourself too much before your Achilles tendon injury heals completely because if the tendon gets injured again, the pain could become a long-lasting problem.
Learn more about Boca Raton sports medicine
At Orthopaedic Surgery Associates we help professional and recreational athletes get back on their feet We have qualified specialists and state-of-the-art technology. With us, you are in good hands! For more information, request an appointment or call us directly at (561) 395-5733.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Â Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.