Taking care of your Achilles tendon injury might be a bit more complex than you anticipated. However, with the right care, it could soon start to heal. It’s likely that the healing process will be at least six weeks long, however, the right amount of rest can make a world of difference. Please speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your Achilles tendon. They can help you to recover from the injury so you’re back up and walking again soon.
Anyone can damage their Achilles tendon, even though the injury is largely associated with athletes. This particular tendon is the largest in the body and it’s found on the back of your ankle. That springy and soft band of tissue is your Achilles tendon.
But how can you take care of an Achilles tendon injury? This is something this article explores.
Table of Contents
1. Rest and Ice
If you want to heal as quickly as possible, you need to rest your Achilles tendon. This means you’ll have to do little to no walking or standing. While this might seem impossible, it is vital. The more you rest your tendon, the quicker it will get better.
When it comes to using ice, you need to be careful. Placing ice directly onto your heel has the potential to burn your skin. However, wrapping ice in a towel first can prove to be beneficial. This is because ice can help to reduce swelling and kill the pain. This is exactly what you need.
Painkillers can help to ease the pain and discomfort that the injury causes. Some of the best painkillers you can take are actually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They can help to reduce the swelling and the pain. Naproxen or ibuprofen can usually help with this.
Please make sure that if you take some painkillers you don’t overdo things. If your pain has gone, please be careful. It’s easy to forget that you should be taking care of your tendon. Don’t assume that you’re ok to walk just because you’re in little to no pain. It just means that the medication is working.
3. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is recommended if you have an Achilles heel injury. This is because you will be shown how to do exercises that can help your recovery. Any physical therapist near you should know exactly what you need to do to aid recovery and strengthen that part of your body.
The physical therapist will give you a range of exercises to complete at home. Please make sure that you follow their instructions. When you do the exercises you’re given, you’re more likely to make a quicker recovery.
While the exercises might be difficult to do at first, you should carry on doing them. If they cause you a lot of pain and discomfort, it’s worth telling your doctor and physical therapist. This is so that they can recommend other types of exercises and/or treatments.
Did you know that swimming is one of the best exercises for your body? This is because you use the water to help you move your muscles and tendons. Swimming is ideal if you have injured yourself as it’s a safe way to get those muscles and tendons moving again.
You don’t have to be the world’s best swimmer or even swim very far. However, with a bit of work, you could help to build up the muscles in your heel and foot. Take your time when you’re swimming, and always stop if your tendon is becoming painful.
You might be offered surgery if you’re an athlete, you’ve had issues with your tendon before, or you’re young and quite active. You might also be offered surgery if there was a delay in treating your Achilles tendon.
While having surgery means you’re less likely to have the same issue again, it does not rule it out entirely. Please speak to your doctor if you would like to have surgery. They can tell you what the benefits of having surgery are. Don’t be afraid to mention surgery to your doctor if they haven’t mentioned it already. It could be that they want to see if other treatments will work.
6. Wearing a Brace or Cast
You might be told that you have to wear a cast for 2 weeks and a brace for 4 weeks. The cast will ensure that your foot is bent, meaning you cannot put any weight on it. However, when it comes to wearing a brace, you can put weight on your foot if you use crutches.
A brace is typically a hard boot that has adjustable straps. The brace will be adjusted over time so you can bring your foot back up safely. You may also be given a range of exercises to do to help strengthen your foot and calf muscle.