Relief From Achilles Tendon Pain
The Achilles Tendon is attached to the rear of the heel bone (calcaneum) and extends up the back of ankle to the lower calf. The purpose of the Achilles Tendon is to raise the heel off the ground when you walk or run.
Most commonly seen in runners, Achilles Tendon pain and inflammation can be caused by injury or something as simple as an unusual strain put on the tendon during a workout, while just walking or when rock climbing. A pulling of the Achilles Tendon is usually the result of strain and results in discomfort as mild as tenderness and swelling, to quite sever pain. Pulling the tendon usually results in an inflammation, which is known as Achilles Tendonitis. The condition is generally short lived and can often be treated using orthotic insoles. In fact, using orthotic insoles can actually avoide injury to the Achilles Tendon in the first place.
Although tight calf muscles, a condition called Tendinopathy, can cause or contribute to Achilles Tendonitis, over-pronation of the feet is the most common cause. Over-pronation occurs when your feet roll inwards, forcing your lower leg to rotate and place stain on the calf muscles. Attached to the calf muscle is the Achilles Tendon, which is much smaller, and thus weaker than the calf muscle so it can end up being stretched. This process is known as over-pronation, and can result in irritation and inflammation of the Achilles Tendon.
Occasionally the pain felt in the area of the Achilles Tendon can be accompanied by foot and heel pain, an aching in the ankle area, as well as stiffness or tenderness of the tendon itself. The heel pain is usually worse the morning or after a period of rest. The tendon contracts and stiffens while immobile, with is a natural occurrence that is part of the healing process. Having it stretched and strained when moved causes pain, as is the case when stretching any pulled muscle or tendon.
Achilles Tendonitis treatment is based on how long the injury has been present. For early stages where there is an acute inflammation, the injured foot should be immobilized and an ice pack applied for 20 to 30 minutes. For longer term treatment, orthotic insoles are required.
There are numerous types of orthotic insoles. Some are heel cups that provide padding directly under the heel, while other orthotic insoles are shoe inserts that pad and support the foot from toes to heel.
Unfortunately, tearing or a rupture of the Achilles Tendon can not only be excruciatingly painful, but will almost always requires the attention of a medical professional. In sever cases the injury will require surgery to repair the damage. At best, a long period of immobile convalescence is required to repair damaged tissue. Recovery from the injury, or any surgery that may be required, will also necessitate a prolonged period wearing some form of orthotic insoles.
To avoid injuring your Achilles Tendons in the first place, or to avoid reinjuring it, always stretch the Achilles Tendon and calf muscles before participating in physical activities such as running, working out or playing sports. Slowly and gently stretching muscles is the best way to prevent Achilles Tendonitis or Tendinopathy. While stretching you should feel a noticeable pull, but no pain. Wearing orthotic insoles also helps protect against injury to your Achilles Tendons.
Wearing orthotic insoles prevents your feet from over-pronating as you walk or run. They do so by painlessly stimulating the postural control centres of your feet, correcting muscle imbalance. This action treats a host of issues, such as foot arches and posture problems. However, it also protects the feet, Achilles Tendon and heal from being impacted by improper movement, thus reducing added strain on the tendon.