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Achilles Tendon Problems

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Home Treatment

Home treatment is often used for Achilles tendinopathy and in physical therapy or rehabilitation (rehab) after an Achilles tendon rupture.

Achilles tendinopathy

Follow these steps to rest, heal, and strengthen your Achilles tendon and prevent further injury:

  • Rest your Achilles tendon. Avoid all activities that strain the tendon, such as stair climbing or running. Try other activities, such as swimming, while you give your tendon the days, weeks, or months it needs to heal. Your doctor will tell you what you can and cannot do.
  • Reduce pain by icing your Achilles tendon and taking nonprescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as directed. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Follow your physical therapy program if one has been prescribed for you. Do gentle stretching slideshow.gif and strengthening exercises. Focus on calf stretches slideshow.gif.
  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking slows healing, because it decreases blood supply and delays tissue repair.
  • Wear footwear that protects the tendon while it heals.
    • Quality athletic shoes that support your arches and cushion your heels can make a big difference in your comfort and healing. If needed, talk to your physical therapist or podiatrist about heel pads or orthotics.
    • A bandage that keeps your foot flexed can restrict the motion of the Achilles tendon.
    • A silicone sleeve or pad can distribute pressure on the Achilles tendon.

If your Achilles tendon shortens and stiffens while you sleep, your doctor may suggest that you wear a night brace camera.gif to keep your foot flexed.

Achilles tendon rupture

No matter how you treat an Achilles tendon rupture, after treatment it's important to follow your rehab program. This program helps your tendon heal and prevents further injury.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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