How Can I Get Help With Pain In My Achilles Tendon?

Male runner holding injured calf muscle and suffering with achilles tendon pain. Sprain ligament while running outdoors. View from the back close-up.

If you’re dealing with pain in your Achilles tendon, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common running injuries out there. It can be caused by various factors, including overuse or trauma to the Achilles tendon, or can develop due to old age.

But despite its prevalence, this type of injury can be challenging to manage—especially if this is unfamiliar territory for you.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can get the help you need to reduce the discomfort and start feeling better quickly. In this article, we share our tips and advice on how to deal with Achilles tendon pain. 

But if you’re experiencing unfamiliar symptoms now – and you’ve had them for more than seven days, it’s probably time to consult a physical therapist.

We’re here to help you feel better. With our years of training and expertise, we can find the root cause, diagnose you, and provide a tailor-made treatment plan to suit your seeds. 

Where does it hurt?

Talking about pain isn’t the most fun conversation we could have, but it’s important. If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort around your ankle area, it’s important to identify where the pain is and when you first felt it.

Identifying the cause is the first step in finding relief and feeling better. Where were you? What were you doing?

It could be a dull ache or sharp, searing pain. Most patients report initially feeling an aching pain in the heel or back of their leg after doing something active like running or playing soccer, which is often followed by pain that worsens in relation to activity levels.

You may also feel sore spots and rigidity in the back of your ankle. But whatever the case may be, please don’t ignore it. 

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What Causes Achilles Tendon Injuries?

An orthopedic doctor examines a woman's leg. Achilles tendon and ankle diseases. Inflammation of the heel and foot, achillobursitis and achillotomy, rheumatism, tendon rupture

The Achilles tendon is one of the most injured tendons in the body. Though small, it plays a crucial role in our daily movements, whether running or walking.

The most common injury affecting the Achilles tendon is Achilles Tendonitis or Achilles Tendinopathy. Achilles tendonitis is a common injury most likely affecting athletes and active individuals. But what causes it?

The Achilles tendon runs from your calf muscles to your heel bone, allowing movement in your foot and ankle.

When you overuse or strain this tendon, it gets irritated and inflamed, resulting in tendonitis. Some of the most common causes of this strain include sudden increases in activity levels, improper footwear, and tight calf muscles.

But with proper care and treatment, we can effectively manage most cases of Achilles tendonitis, allowing you to return to your favorite activities and sports with minimal downtime.

But it’s important to seek help from a physical therapist if you feel pain in your Achilles tendon because, in severe cases, this tendon can rupture and tear, putting you out of action for a long time.

Or worse, if it fully tears, you may need surgery to repair it. 

Just in case this does happen to you (although hopefully not) If the tendon does rupture, you will most likely hear a “popping” noise and feel an instant, burning pain in your Achilles tendon or lower calf muscle.

Due to the intense pain, you won’t be able to walk on it either. Still, with prompt treatment of Achilles Tendon Pain, you can usually completely avoid this scenario. So don’t wait.

Will Physical Therapy Fix My Achilles Tendon?

Physiotherapist doing medical massage of injured man's foot

Physical therapy plays a major role in treating Achilles Tendon injuries by providing exercises to improve strength and flexibility and help prevent future re-injury.

If you’re having difficulty walking due to pain in your Achilles tendon, you’re likely frustrated and keen to find a solution.

You may have already tried traditional treatments such as rest, cold therapy, and icing. However, these methods have yet to provide much relief. Does that sound like you?

Physical therapy is the best approach to healing this sort of injury. We can help reduce pain and discomfort in the short term.

But we can also find and fix the underlying cause, which leads to improved function and mobility over time. This two-pronged approach makes physical therapy a great long-term treatment option for Achilles tendon injuries specifically. 

Physical therapy is an excellent way to regain your strength and mobility if you’re dealing with an Achilles problem. We know that this type of injury can be really limiting.

But a tailored physical therapy plan can help you get back on your feet. With exercises focused on stretching and strengthening the tendon, we can also help to prevent future injuries.

We provide one-on-one care and guidance to support your recovery fully – whether you’re an athlete, weekend warrior, or simply looking to stay active and healthy. 

healthy diet and exercise

What Else Can I Do?

When it comes to recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, patience is key. One of the most important aspects is prioritizing rest and avoiding putting too much pressure on the affected area.

However, there are some things you can do to help speed up the recovery process. If you’re the type of person that is keen to do all you can to heal your Achilles tendon as quickly as possible, there are a few things you can do in addition to regular physical therapy sessions, such as:

Keep track of your progress:

When it comes to healing an injury, it’s all about progress. And one of the best ways to ensure progress is to keep track of it.

Start a journal or use an app to log your stretching and exercise routine. It might seem like a small step, but it can make a big impact.

Seeing how far you’ve come motivates you to keep going and push yourself further. 

Try massage therapy and other alternative treatments:

When it comes to dealing with pain, in addition to physical therapy, there are a variety of alternative treatments worth exploring.

Massage therapy can be great when you’re recovering from an injury. A good massage can help ease muscle tension and improve circulation and positively impact your mental health when trying to overcome an Achilles tendon injury. 

Eat a healthy diet:

A straightforward way to make sure your tendon heals as quickly as possible is to ensure your body gets all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to heal by incorporating healthy eating habits into your diet. Research shows that a balanced diet can promote healing and reduce inflammation.

But the good news is that you don’t have to change your meal plan drastically.

Simply making small adjustments, such as choosing more vegetables, can support your body during healing and impact your overall health. 

How to Avoid Re-Injury After Physical Therapy 

How to Avoid Re-Injury After Physical Therapy 

Physical therapy is a crucial step in healing from an Achilles tendon injury. Still, it’s important to continue caring for your body even after your sessions end.

One of the best ways to avoid re-injury is to continue staying active and listening to your body. Exercising regularly and doing strength training or Pilates can help improve your muscle strength, overall physical health and prevent future injuries.

Your physical therapist is your best source of information and guidance regarding this. By following our directions, you can rest assured that you’re taking the right steps to long-term recovery.

We may recommend specific exercises, stretches, or even footwear changes to prevent future problems. It’s important to communicate with your physical therapist throughout the healing process.

Don’t hesitate to ask us questions or share any concerns. 

You can do simple exercises at home to improve the strength of your Achilles tendon. One effective move is the heel raise.

Starting with your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly raise your toes, holding for a couple of seconds before lowering. Repeat this several times.

Another exercise is toe curls. Start by sitting in a comfortable but supportive chair with your feet flat on the ground and your toes pointing forward.

Use your toes to curl a towel or small object towards you, then release. These exercises may seem simple, but they can make a difference in keeping your Achilles tendon strong and healthy.

However, remember to give your body time to rest and recover between sessions. Don’t push yourself too hard or quickly because this can lead to more strains and sprains.

Are You In Pain Now?

If you have pain in your Achilles Tendon right now, why not take the first step to fix your pain once and for all by booking a free consultation with us?

We can look at your ankle and advise you on how to move forward.  

Andrew Vertson