The Achilles tendon connects to the heel and runs behind the ankle toward the calf muscle. It allows the foot to bend and curve naturally when standing, running or walking. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon can be caused by several factors, including injury, tears or tendonitis (a complication characterized by acute tendon swelling). In addition to conventional medication and medical procedures, there are several remedies that can be used to treat an inflamed Achilles tendon.
Because the Achilles tendon lies within one of the most often-used joints of the body, it has a high rate of injury. If inflammation is caused by a tear, rupture or trauma, the Achilles tendon can become excessively sore or immobile. Any immobility of the Achilles tendon will severely limit the victim’s ability to walk, run, stand or perform any activity that requires use of the feet. This is why inflammation of the Achilles tendon is both a common occurrence and a danger for individuals who run on a daily basis.
RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
The simplest remedy for an inflamed Achilles tendon is proper care at home. Stay off the injured foot as much as possible; utilize a crutch if necessary. When lying down, elevate the injured foot above the level of the body by propping it on a cushion. Use ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables to minimize swelling. Wrap them in a towel or thin cloth to prevent freezer burn and apply them to the injured foot for 15 to 30 minutes every few hours. If you experience pain whenever you move the injured foot, consider wrapping it in athletic tape or a cast to prevent involuntary movement. These remedies can be best remembered through the acronym RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation).
There are several natural remedies available that may reduce the swelling associated with inflammation. Remedies like Magnesium Phosphoricum or Matricaria, as well as essential oils containing ginger, peppermint or pine, have been known to reduce swelling and ease pain. However, it should be noted that these natural remedies should not replace conventional medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Speak with your doctor if you are unsure about which remedies are appropriate for your injured foot.
Massage therapy has also been used to relieve pain associated with an inflamed Achilles tendon. A massage therapy session can be customized to cater to your exact levels of pain, inflammation or immobility. During a massage therapy session, a therapist may utilize several techniques, such as acupressure, acupuncture, friction massage and aromatherapy, to restore circulation and dull pain. If the Achilles tendon is damaged and needs repair, physical therapy or surgery may be required to restore its strength and eliminate swelling.