It is important to note that the Achilles tendon is susceptible to injuries especially sports that involves jumping or abrupt stops and running such as soccer and tennis. The best way to avoid injury that includes pain and soreness or partial to complete tear, a pre-rehabilitation exercise can help strengthen the Achilles tendon and the surrounding muscles. The exercises should be performed every 2-3 times in a week on non-consecutive days.
Steps in managing Achilles tendon pain
You can take into consideration the following measures to help manage pain in the Achilles tendon. In case the individual experiences severe pain, it is best to have the condition check by a doctor so that proper assessment and treatment can be started.
- The calf muscles and gastrocnemius should be stretched 2-3 times in a day or after workout to maintain a flexible Achilles tendon. It is best to start with both hands resting on a wall at shoulder height. Position the left foot in front of the right foot and bend the left knee over the ankle. The right leg should extend behind while the right heel is on the ground. The individual should lean into the wall until a stretch is felt in the back leg and hold for 20-30 seconds and do the same on the other side. The individual should avoid stretching too far since it can cause pain.
- Build up the Achilles tendon raising the calf that should be done three times in a week as a routine for the lower body. The individual should stand tall holding a chair for support and raise the toe, lifting the heels off the ground as the calf muscles are squeezed. The back should be lowered to the floor and repeat 10-15 times for 2-3 sets.
- The suitable footwear should be used. Incorrect shoes can lead to the development of Achilles tendonitis or tears if there is lack of cushioning or support while walking, running or jumping. A doctor can assess the gait and shoes to check if there is excessive wear in the heels or poor absorption of shock since both are contributing factors to Achilles injuries.
- Activities that trigger the pain should be stopped since a damaged or weakened Achilles tendon can break. This would require further treatment to repair and provide relief to the pain.
Always bear in mind that the individual should continue to move as tolerated since inactivity will actually increase the pain by causing the tendon to size up. The individual should combine gentle range of motion movements and walking with rest in order to keep the tendon movable. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.
In case these measures could not provide relief to the Achilles tendon pain, it is best to consult a doctor so that appropriate treatment can be provided.