Are you ready for some football?
Fall sports are just around the corner, but if you’re kicking off the season with a sore Achilles and heel pain to boot, you’re likely spending more time on the couch than on the field! What you probably have is a case of Achilles tendinitis, and that’s nothing to cheer about -- it’s an overuse injury that affects not only the Achilles tendon, but where it attaches to your heel! Fortunately, though, there are some things you can do to ease discomfort, swelling, and tenderness so you can get off the couch and get back in the game (or at least watch one on TV without pain!)
Just follow these tips to score some relief:
Serve yourself up some RICE:
Rest – Take a load off or at least replace high-impact activities with lower-impact options like weight lifting, yoga, or swimming. You need to give your tired tendon time to recuperate!
Ice – this coupled with medication will help decrease inflammation and pain.
Compression – wrap your ankle with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling.
Elevation – Propping your foot up on some pillows above heart level will minimize inflammation too.
You can also do gentle stretches and later, physical therapy, to help reduce tension, loosen tight muscles, ad restore function and strength. Pain laser therapy can help with recovery as well.
Once your Achilles and heel are feeling better, don’t just dive back in to physical activity full force! To avoid re-occurrence of Achilles tendinitis, you need to gradually return to sport, making sure to warm up properly first and continue with stretches and cross-training. You may also want to consider orthotics that could help keep feet in alignment, and make them less likely to sustain another overuse injury.
With these guidelines in mind, you should be able to tackle Achilles tendinitis troubles and leave that pain and swelling on the sideline where it belongs! Find out more or schedule an appointment with the Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates’ team by dialing (309) 661-9975 to reach our Bloomington IL office.