...less medical jargon in a 'Quick glance' format!
Achilles Tendonitis Treatments:
Treatment depends on the severity of the injury. If heel pain, tenderness, swelling, or discomfort in the back of the lower leg occurs, physical activity that produces the symptoms should be discontinued.
If the problem returns or persists, a medical professional should be consulted. If pain develops even with proper stretching and training techniques, the patient should consult a podiatrist to check for hyperpronation and adequate arch support. The addition of an orthotic may be enough to maintain good arch and foot alignment and eliminate pain.
If damage to the tendon is minor, the injury may respond to a simple course of treatment known as RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
Patients are advised to:
Rest the tendon by keeping off their feet as much as possible;
apply Ice packs for 20 minutes at a time every hour for a day or two to reduce swelling;
Compress the ankle and foot with a firmly (not tightly) wrapped elastic bandage; and
Elevate the foot whenever possible to minimize swelling.
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen may be used to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Achilles Tendonitis Treatments... PREVENTION:
While it may not be possible to prevent Achilles tendinitis, you can take measures to reduce your risk:
Increase your activity level gradually
If you're just beginning an exercise regimen, don't feel like you have to be marathon-ready in record time. Starting slowly will help you determine your limits and follow a sensible exercise program.
Take it easy
Avoid activities that place excessive stress on your tendons, especially for prolonged periods. If you participate in a strenuous activity, warm up first by exercising at a slower pace. If you notice pain during a particular exercise, stop and rest.
Choose your shoes carefully
The shoes you wear while exercising should provide adequate cushion for your heel and should have a firm arch support to help reduce the tension in the Achilles tendon. Replace shoes that show excessive wear. If your shoes are in good condition but don't support your feet, try arch supports in both shoes.
Take the time to stretch your calf muscles and Achilles tendon in the morning, before exercise and after exercise to maintain flexibility. This is especially important to avoid a recurrence of Achilles tendinitis.
Strengthen your calf muscles
Performing exercises such as toe raises, especially with a slow return to the ground after each toe raise, trains the muscle-tendon unit to withstand more loading force.
Alternate impact activities, such as running and jumping, with low-impact activities, such as cycling and swimming.
Achilles Tendonitis Treatments... What you can do:
If you think you may have Achilles tendinitis, help speed your recovery and prevent further problems by trying these at-home care methods:
Avoid activities that increase the pain or swelling. Don't try to work or play through the pain. Rest is essential to tissue healing. But this doesn't mean complete bed rest. You can do other activities and exercises that don't stress the injured tendon, especially low-impact activities, such as bicycling.
To decrease pain, muscle spasm and swelling, apply ice to the injured area for up to 20 minutes, several times a day. Ice packs, ice massage or ice water slush baths all can help. For an ice massage, freeze a plastic foam cup full of water so that you can hold the cup while applying the ice directly to the skin.
Because swelling can result in loss of motion in an injured joint, compress the area until the swelling has ceased. Wraps or compressive elastic bandages are best.
Raise the affected ankle above the level of your heart to reduce swelling. It's especially important to use this position at night. . . . Keep moving
Although rest is a key part of achilles tendonitis treatments, prolonged inactivity can cause stiffness in your joints. Move the injured ankle through its full range of motion and perform gentle Achilles tendon stretches to maintain joint flexibility.
.. . . Anti-inflammatory medications
You can also try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to try to reduce the discomfort associated with tendinitis.
Be sure to talk to your doctor if you feel you need NSAIDs for an extended time because some of these drugs should be used for only short periods — around seven to 10 days — to avoid complications.
If you take NSAIDs frequently or take more than the recommended dose, these medications can cause stomach pain, stomach bleeding and ulcers. Rarely, prolonged use can disrupt normal kidney function. If you have liver problems, talk to your doctor before using products containing acetaminophen.