The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It stretches from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles. It is the flexible band of tissue at the back of your ankle and above your heel. The Achilles tendon lets you point your toes toward the floor and raise up on your tiptoes. Achilles tendon injury can be a devastating and painful injury. There are often many signs that an athlete is at risk of a significant rupture. It is essential that you take care of this tendon, and seek help at the sign of any pain in that area.
Sports Susceptible to Achilles Tendon Injury
Any sport that requires you to transfer a lot of power to your feet via running, jumping or pivoting is at risk of an Achilles injury.
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammatory condition that involves the Achilles tendon or its tendon sheath. Often there is excessive tension or stress placed on the tendon repetitively, as with running, jumping or other activities that overload the tendon.
Achilles issues are often gradual from onset until the time of injury. What makes this dangerous is that many athletes learn to cope with the injury until it is too late and there is either a rupture or the tendinitis hurts too much to continue.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Injury
Look out for pain in the heel or when you start to stretch your calves. Also watch out for this pain slowly getting worse over time. The Achilles tendon produces injuries that creep on your gradually over time.
- Discomfort walking
- Morning stiffness
- Discomfort sprinting
- Discomfort jumping
- Pain pushing off or taking off
- Tight calve muscles
- Tight feet
- Flat feet
Causes of Achilles Tendon Injury
- Uphill running
- Interval training
- Excessive jumping
- A quick increase in the volume of training
Diagnoses of Achilles Tendon Injury
If you think you have a rupture use Kho to connect with a local Chiropractors, Acupuncturist, or Physical Therapist to make sure that you get evaluated by a healthcare provider that understands sports medicine. They will be able to help you make the best choices on whether surgery is needed and if it is direct you to who you should go and see.
If in early pain stages, seeing any of the above professionals can work. Seeing a muscle therapist may also be a great idea. They will be able to help relieve tension in the feet and calves to help keep the Achilles tendon healthy.
Treatment Achilles Tendon Injury
- Surgery (last resort)
- Ice after practice or games as needed
- Raise leg to help reduce swelling
- Anti-inflammatory drugs should only be used in emergency situations. You don’t want to mask the pain with narcotics too long as it can open the door for a much worse injury. You have pain for a reason; your body is trying to send you a message.
- Calf stretching
- Foot strengthening
- Calf strengthening
- Active Release Technique from a certified provider
- Graston Technique from an accredited provider
Ways to Prevent Achilles Tendon Injury?
Use Kho to find a therapist local to you that you enjoy working with. See them before the injury happens at all. The best way to prevent an injury is not to get hurt at all.
2. Stay Hydrated
Our body is 70% water, and our muscles need water to function correctly.
3. Wear shoes that are good for you
If you put your feet in shoes that do not work for your body, it will have an adverse effect on your Achilles. Every step you take in the wrong shoes puts your Achilles tendon in a compromised position.
4. Stop training through the pain
If you feel pain in your Achilles and you make a choice to keep pushing through, it will just keep getting worse unless you do something about it. The injury will creep on you slowly so pay attention to your body early on.
5. Progress slowly when increasing load and volume
If you have been taking a break from training, do not just jump back in and go full bore. You need time to build back up to save levels of training again.
6. Rest after high-intensity days
If you do an excessive amount of sprinting and or jumping, you want to make sure that the next day you rest as much as possible. It can be hard on your body to have consecutive high-intensity days.
Rehab for Achilles Tendon Injury
The best way to rehabilitate any Achilles tendinitis or any Achilles ruptures is to be proactive the second you feel any discomfort in the area. The earlier you take action, the easier it is to make the injury go away.
Arch Strengthing or Arch Support – There are many different views on how to best cure flat feet. Some work to build the arch up as much as possible, well other suggest using orthotics.
Calf Strength – Weighted calf raises, both concentric and eccentric can help to prevent Achilles issues by preparing the tendons for the types of loads it will have to endure during explosive athletic movements.
Use Kho to find a good physical therapist that can help you with these even more.
Phase 1 – Acute Inflammatory Stage
- Modulate pain
- Address any abnormal foot function
- Begin the appropriate therapeutic exercise
- Approximately Day 1 to 4
Phase 2 – Fibroblastic-Repair Stage
- Increase lower leg flexibility
- Increase lower leg strength
- Improve single leg squat balance
- About day 5 to day 14
Phase 3 – Maturation- Remodeling Stage
- Complete elimination of pain
- Can perform at game intensity without issues
- Full return to activity
Criteria for Returning
- No pain with walking, cutting or running.
- Calf and soleus flexibility and strength are equal
- Improved singe leg squat balance
- Approximately week 3 to full return
- Injury App That Allows You to Ask Any Injury Question
- Building Your Stretching Routine
- Why You’re Getting Hurt
- Foot and Ankle Stretches
What to Do When Nothing is Working?
Sometimes you can ice all you want, and stretch all you want but a muscle is in pain because another area is not working or because it is protecting you. With the hips, for example, your back may be hurting because your psoas is doing too much work and it is also tight. The psoas may be doing too much work because your other hip flexors are not activating correctly. The chain reaction could keep going.
Sometimes you need the help of a sports medicine provider. Sports medicine providers are used to working with athletes that need to get results quickly, to get back on the field. If you are not an athlete, I am sure that you still want quick results.
There are many different options you can go with when looking for a provider. You could get a chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist or many other options. The key is finding someone you trust and that you are excited to work with.
How to Find The Best Healthcare Providers for Training Injuries
Kho Health is the best place to find the health care providers you need for any injuries. It does not matter where you are hurting; a Kho Health provider will be able to get you healthy again. Kho allows you to find the best local providers and compare them quickly using the Kho Number.
If you have no idea what you need, but you know you need something, Kho Health is an injury guide, and you will get helped through the process. We make it easier for you to find the information and the person you are looking for to help your training injuries.