The Achilles tendon is that big tendon that runs from the back of your heel to your calf. It's the largest tendon in your body, and it gets put under a lot of strain whenever you walk, run, or jump. If your Achilles tendon becomes sore or painful, you need to take that pain seriously, since ignoring it could lead to a more serious injury like a torn tendon. Here's what to do when the soreness appears.
Cut back on activities that might be contributing to the pain.
If you're an athlete or participate in recreational sports, there's a good chance this is the cause of your injury. Take some time off to ensure you don't make matters worse. If you're worried about staying fit, consider pool running or swimming while your tendon heals. These activities give you a good cardiovascular workout, but they don't put much strain on your tendon.
If you're not an athlete, then look into other aspects of your life to try and deduce what could be causing the pain. Do you spend long days on your feet at work? Maybe you just walked around a city while on vacation. Once you've identified the likely cause, find ways to avoid the activity for at least a week.
Self-massage the area.
Tendons don't have a lot of blood flow, so they tend to heal quite slowly. To help encourage blood flow to the area and speed healing, you can massage your Achilles tendon. Grasp the tendon between your thumb and forefinger and rub it in small circles. Try to do this at least once a day or whenever your tendon feels stiff.
Stretch it out.
Stretching your tendon will help keep it feeling looser and less painful. The easiest way to stretch it is to stand on the edge of a stair. Keep your toes on the stair, but sink your heels down over the edge of the stair. Hold this position for about 10 seconds, rest, and repeat a couple of times.
Icing any injury helps bring down swelling for speedier healing. If holding an ice pack against your Achilles is hard, just dunk your whole foot in a bucket of ice water. It's good to do this at the end of the day, especially if you've been walking around, to help take out the swelling brought about by that activity.
If your Achilles tendon pain doesn't disappear within a week or two, contact a clinic like Collier Podiatry PA. You may need cortisone injections or more intensive treatment to heal the strain.