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How do I Treat an Injured Achilles Tendon?

Deanna Baranyi
Updated Feb 06, 2024
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The Achilles tendon is the tendon that connects the heel to the calf muscle. Depending on the type of injury, there are a number of options for treating an injured Achilles tendon. In most cases, the person with the injured Achilles tendon will be advised to cut back on their athletic activities, avoid hard stretches, ice the tendon, and take over-the-counter pain medication. Physical therapy or even surgery may be recommended in the worst cases.

One of the first steps to treating an injured Achilles tendon is to rest. Although most people will not need to become completely inactive, they will be encouraged to stop participating in the activity that led to the injury for a few weeks or longer. In addition, people will be advised against participating in activities that are similar to the injury-causing activity. They may also be told to avoid hills, to resume any exercise gradually, and to participate in activities at a lower level of intensity until the injury heals.

The next step in treating an injured Achilles tendon is to avoid hard stretches. Stretches should be gentle. Ice and massage therapy are often recommended as part of the healing process as well. In general, it is best to ice and massage the injury for ten to 20 minutes, particularly after the injured person has engaged in exercise. In addition, over-the-counter pain medication may be recommended to help manage any pain or tenderness in the Achilles tendon area.

Physical therapy may be useful for the treatment of an injured Achilles tendon in some cases. A physical therapist can evaluate the injury and teach the person a series of exercises that are designed to strengthen the tendon. The physical therapist may also instruct the patient to strengthen other muscles, such as the quadriceps or hamstrings, in the hopes of reducing the amount of stress that is placed on the Achilles tendon. Sometimes the therapist may use ultrasound or electrical stimulation to treat the injured Achilles tendon as well.

In the worst cases, surgery may be recommended to treat an injured Achilles tendon. This is usually indicated if the tendon is ruptured or completely detached from the heel or the calf muscle. Through surgery, the tendon can be sewn back together or reconnected to the heel bone or the calf. Some people are not able to undergo surgery because of other health conditions. In those cases, the patients usually will be fitted with a cast for about six months or until the tendon is healed

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Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi , Former Writer
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.

Discussion Comments

By anon992259 — On Aug 26, 2015

I recommend treatments that don't require a lot of exertion in order to get the blood flowing. Things such as massage therapy, ultrasound, BFST, acupuncture, etc. These types of treatment give you the nutrients and oxygen you need to heal but reduce the risk factors involved with a lot of physical activity.

It's also very important to follow anything physical with a cold compress. If the area is inflamed it hinders the blood flow even more than it would typically. Get the inflammation down, then increase the circulation. My main recommend is the BFST. I have heard and seen the results first hand and think it is wonderful.

Deanna Baranyi

Deanna Baranyi

Former Writer

Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
Learn more
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