Achilles Tendon Injury
The Achilles is a thick, cord-like tendon that begins at the back of the heel and rises up toward the calf. Achilles tendonitis (tendinitis) can be debilitating caused by an extremely piercing pain or burning pain at the back area of the heel. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle of the leg to the heel bone. The degree of injury ranges from an irritated tendon to a tear or even a complete rupture of the tendon.
Common mitigating factors include:
- improper training program for athletes.
- wearing footwear that is ill-fitted or badly worn.
- improper warmup (or cool-down) for your activity.
- lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.
- wearing high heels that can shrink the tendon and become more vulnerable to injury.
This injury is problematic among athletes especially runners and professional dancers, as both activites stress the achilles tendon quite heavily.
If your Achilles tendon is feeling sore and weak without any sharp pain, you may be suffering from Achilles tendinosis. This condition is more common and is the degeration of the tendon tissue rather than inflammation of the tendon. It is cause by overuse and slight wear and tear of the tendon over time.
If you feel a sharp pain, as though you've been hit in the back of the ankle, and hear a "pop" sound, your Achilles tendon has likely ruptured. A ruptured (completely torn) Achilles tendon can occur when the Achilles tendon is overstressed to the point of tearing. It will be very difficult for you to walk or move your ankle if this is the case.
The exact cause of a rupture is difficult to say. However, it seems to occur more frequently when the tendon and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calf are weak. Weaker muscles are shorter and tighter than usually and this causes more stress on the Achilles tendon. A forceful stretch of the tendon while the calf muscles are contracting and the leg is moving forward can cause a rupture to occur.
An Achilles injury should never go untreated because it can lead to the weakening of the tendon and possibly chronic pain or a rupture. An injured, weakened tendon held together by scar tissue is very susceptible to a rupture because it is not strong enough to withstand the demands placed on it during exercise or everyday activities.
If your Achilles is sore or painful, or you are recovering from Achilles tendon surgery, treating your heal, ankle, and lower leg with cold compression and BFST® will reduce your pain, soften scar tissue, and strengthen your Achilles to help reduce the risk of further injury.
Achilles Tendon Treatments
It is important to treat Achilles tendon injuries as soon as possible, as any activity or strain you put on your tendon can re-injure it further. Though the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of an Achilles condition can be overwhelming, it is possible to overcome it.
Allowing your Achilles tendon to rest is always recommended following injury. Avoid all activities that may have caused the injury or irritation and begin cold compression treatments as soon as possible. The Achilles tendon is a difficult tendon to rest completely as it is an essential tendon for walking and daily activities. Fortunately, there are healing tools that can help treat your tendon and speed up the healing process so you can get back to a life without pain and risk of further injury. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) promotes blood flow to heal your tendon faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Although steroid injections may provide temporary relief from the pain of Achilles tendinitis, they should generally be avoided as they weaken the tendon and may lead to a rupture. If you do opt for an injection, doctors usually recommend that you do not participate in strenuous activities for several weeks to reduce the risk of a rupture.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Therapy
Doctors recommend using cold compression as soon as possible following an acute Achilles injury and re-injury to reduce pain and swelling and minimize tissue damage that occurs with soft tissue injuries like tendon tears.
The Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your Achilles tendon in an effective and convenient way. The wrap is adjustable which allows you to control the compression to a level that is comfortable for you and the gel packs are chilled in the fridge not the freezer. This eliminates the risk of cryoburn, or 'cold burns', on your skin that can be cause by ice and strandard freezer gel packs. You can also wear the Freezie Wrap® for longer treatments so you can enjoy even more relief from your Achilles pain!
Cold Compression Therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the Achilles tendon and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal your tendon faster and with less pain!
The deep cooling effect provided by the Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap® gives you the fast, effective relief your sore Achilles tendon has been looking for!
Click Here to learn more about Freezie Wrap® ColdCure Technology®
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After the inflammation and swelling is gone you can begin to treat your Achilles tendon with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™, or BFST®. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your ankle to nourish your tendons, ligaments and muscles to speed healing.
The Achilles tendon receives a limited blood supply compared to other tendons in the body and this significantly reduces its natural ability to heal itself.
By treating your Achilles tendon with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply to the ankle and increase your body's natural healing power. In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Ankle/Achilles Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
Click Here to learn more about how Inferno Wrap® BFST® works
With these easy-to-use therapies you will notice incredible improvement in the health and flexibility tendon and reduced daily pain in your Achilles. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Preventing Achilles Tendon Injuries
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Some methods of preventing Achilles tendon injuries include:
- Using an Inferno Wrap® on your ankle before exercising, and using a Freezie Wrap® after exercising.
- Increasing exercise intensity slowly - to condition your tendon to higher levels of exertion/stress.
- Stretching your tendon before and after exercise (warm up and cool down).
- Wearing shoes that fit correctly (cushioning under the heel and proper arch height) and support your feet.
- Running on softer, flat terrain is advisable to avoid injuring or re-injuring your Achilles tendon.
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.