What can I do? (Achilles pain self help)
Self-help Guide - Achilles Tendonitis
Rest and ice treatment is useful in the early stages of Achilles Tendonitis and an assessment is needed if you have had pain for more than 3-4 weeks. An assessment is often needed for the twisting or traumatic causes and might require prescription insole or advice about home taping.
If you don't have a specific trauma cause you can follow this guide as long as it is done within tolerance, don't go higher than 4/10, ten being worst, pain when doing movements.
Two Up & One Down
- this exercise utilises the best exercise type for this complaint. it is known as eccentric lowering. while having something around for support go up on both toes like you were wearing high heels. Hold for support/ balance something but only use fingertips (no harsh griping) then put all weight onto the sore side by lifting one leg (bend the knee). now all the weight is on sore side slowly lower the heel down towards the ground and take 10 seconds to do it. Repeat this three times daily for 5 days of the week. reassess discomfort in 1-2 weeks time.
Calf Muscle Softening
- From massage (use a trained masseuse) to self-softening (foam roller or massage stick options can be used here) both options soften the muscle above the heel cord. beware this muscle may be very very tender when you start but should get easier over 1-2 weeks. This should be done 3 times per week (NOTE: Heavy sports massage may need to be done weekly due to soreness repair time)
Icing The Cord
10 mins only, place a covered ice pack (watch for ice burns) over the epicentre of your discomfort, normally where sharp pain originates from.
Next Options -
As a last resort or after not seeing change over 4 weeks, there is a new therapy done by the London Foot Pain Clinic, based in Wimbledon called ESWT which works even in the longest of suffers. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT).
ESWT gets 8/10 sufferers of Achilles Tendonitis a great improvement in their pain and only takes three treatments. The sessions are done over 3 weeks to see if you can be one of these 8 out of ten to improve.
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