Achilles tendon injury (also known as Achilles Heel) is most common in both amateur and professional sports and can be quite debilitating. Here are Top 5 Ways To Treat Achilles Heel! which incorporates five simple ways to treat mild, soft tissue injuries.
This might sound obvious, but it’s the first key crucial component in repairing the injury, as continued strain without rest can lead to increased inflammation, pain and possible further injury. There is also a risk of abnormal repair or chronic inflammation resulting from a failure to rest. As a guideline and in general, the period of rest can vary, from 24 up to 48 hours (depending on the injury level) and should be long enough that the pain subsides and both the use and function of the affected area is significantly restored.
Also referred to as cold therapy, it is meant to constrict small vessels, therefore icing the inflamed and/or swollen ligament, tendon, muscle or joint can help reduce pain and swelling especially post-exercise. As a guideline, for example after exercise, ice the injury for up to 20 minutes followed by a warm soak. This is explained in our previous article, 5 Best Ways To Relax Your Feet. Icing can be done every 3-4 hours for two to three days, or until the pain subsides. This only applies to mild injuries or to help hasten your post-exercise recovery. Below is a video of things to consider when icing your ankle or injured area.
Similar to ice, compressing your injured ankle by using an elastic band or wraps helps push out and reduce swelling around the ligaments and mostly by reducing further bleeding.
As explained in our previous article above, elevating your feet to at least 6 to 12 inches above the level of your heart can not only improve circulation but also decrease swelling of the feet. Doing this will allow gravity to draw the swelling down as the blood moves naturally away from the leg veins, into circulation rather than pooling at your feet.
There are many ways to do this, from elevating your feet off the ground onto a stool when you’re sitting down working at your desk or using pillows whilst lying on a sofa.
NOTE: From 1-4, the beginning of each letter equates to the word R.I.C.E, which is a very well known and effective acronym to remember when it comes to treating soft tissue injuries. This can be briefly explained and demonstrated below.
5. Strengthening and stretching exercises
Alongside other factors, building stronger feet and ankles will benefit your overall performance and prevent future injuries. Strengthening the muscles that support your lower limbs (exercises such as the eccentric calf press) and keeping it strong will keep your ankle joint stable and relieve foot and ankle pain. Stretching the muscles especially after exercise is important for maintaining and increasing your range of motion, reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and keeping your muscles long and flexible. Do take a look at our other previous article 5 Top Foot Pain Prevention Exercises, for further information.
Hopefully these tips will help you become more aware of how to prevent possible future foot and (to an extent) lower limb injuries. Stay tuned for more foot health, podiatry and footwear articles soon!