Achilles tendonitis is a common cause of ankle injuries, especially if you’re an active in sports. In the past, treatment may well have involved surgery, but these days there are a number of non-invasive options which may help you. Here are three:
It may sound too simple to be true, but resting is actually one of the best treatments for most Achilles injuries. You’ll probably need to accompany it with other approaches – ask your podiatrist for help – but you can certainly help the healing process by resting.
- For a week or so, keep your foot elevated and rest it as much as possible. After that, some gentle stretching exercises will help to prevent stiffness.
- You can keep your foot from any unwanted movement by supporting the affected area. Braces, splints, or bandages can all be used for this purpose.
- Ice therapy
This is one of the most reliable treatments for tendonitis, and has the benefit that you can certainly do it yourself. Using an ice pack on the affected area is especially helpful during the first few days after you’ve suffered the injury, as it helps reduce swelling and eases discomfort.
- Remember not to apply an ice pack directly to your skin, since this can cause an “ice burn” with effects similar to mild frostbite. Instead, wrap it in a towel.
- Don’t leave the ice pack on your foot for too long. The treatment works best if you apply it between four and six times a day, for around 20 minutes each time.
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
Usually known as ESWT, this is a state-of-the-art treatment that has shown very promising results, especially for tendon injuries that have not healed using more traditional therapies. Its non-invasive nature means it’s much less traumatic to your foot than surgery.
- If your podiatrist decides that ESWT is right for you, you’ll usually undergo a session of treatment lasting 20 minutes.
- The treatment involves precisely focusing shockwaves on the injured area. This stimulates your body’s natural healing processes, as well as breaking up scar tissue.