Achilles Tendon Injury
Achilles tendonitis is a debilitating, painful inflammation of the Achilles Tendon - a cordlike prominence at the back of the heel rising up toward the calf. Symptoms include an extremely piercing pain, a shooting or burning pain at the back area of the heel. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle of the leg to the heel bone. The degree of injury ranges from an irritated tendon to a tear or even a complete rupture of the tendon.
Common mitigating factors include:
- Improper training program for athletes
- Wearing footwear that is ill-fitted or badly worn
- improper warmup (or cool-down) for your activity
- lack of flexibility in the calf muscles
- wearing high heels that can shrink the tendon and become more vulnerable to injury
This injury is problematic among athletes especially runners and professional dancers, as both activities stress the achilles tendon quite heavily.
If you feel a sharp pain, as though you've been hit in the back of the ankle, and hear a "pop" sound, your Achilles tendon has likely ruptured. A ruptured (completely torn) Achilles tendon can occur when the Achilles tendon is overstressed to the point of tearing. It will be very difficult for you to walk or move your ankle if this is the case.
The exact cause of a rupture is difficult to say. However, it seems to occur more frequently when the tendon and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calf are weak. Weaker muscles are shorter and tighter than usually and this causes more stress on the Achilles tendon. A forceful stretch of the tendon while the calf muscles are contracting and the leg is moving forward can cause a rupture to occur.
Achilles tendonitis should never go untreated because it can lead to the weakening of the tendon and possibly a complete rupture. An injured, weakened tendon held together by scar tissue is very susceptible to a rupture because it is not strong enough to withstand the demands placed on it during exercise or everyday activities.
Achilles Treatments - What You Can Do!
Allowing your Achilles tendon to rest is always recommended if you suffer from acute Achilles tendonitis. Avoid all activities that may have caused the injury or irritation and begin cold compression treatments as soon as possible. The Achilles tendon is a difficult tendon to rest completely as it is an essential tendon for walking and daily activities. During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your Achilles tendon until your pain and inflammation settle.
The trick with healing acute Achilles tendinitis is getting the tendon to heal with minimal scar tissue formation and with as much realignment of the tendon fibres as possible - something ultrasound therapy is great at! Even with optimum healing, there is always less elasticity in a previously injured Achilles tendon. This will cause the tendon to hurt during daily activities and exercise. However, if you heal your injury efficiently and quickly, your chance of re-injury later on is much lower than average.
Fortunately, there are healing tools that can help treat your tendon and speed up the healing process so you can get back to a life without pain and risk of further injury. Therapeutic ultrasound will treat scar tissue and reduce inflammation while Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy (BFST) promotes blood flow to heal your tendon faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Although steroid injections may provide temporary relief of the pain of Achilles tendonitis, they should generally be avoided as they weaken the Achilles tendon and may lead to a rupture of the tendon. If you do opt for an injection, doctors usually recommend that you do not participate in strenuous activities for several weeks to reduce the risk of an Achilles tendon rupture.
Cold Compression Therapy
Doctors recommend using cold compression as soon as possible following an acute Achilles injury and re-injury to reduce pain and swelling and minimize tissue damage that occurs with soft tissue injuries like Achilles tendon tears and tendinitis.
The Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your acute Achilles tendonitis in an effective and convenient way.
Cold Compression Therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the Achilles tendon and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your Achilles tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal acute Achilles tendonitis faster and with less pain!
The deep cooling effect provided by the Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap® slows cell metabolism thereby reducing cellular break-down and tissue damage. Furthermore, because the cold wraps serve to numb the nerves, the wraps also reduce pain! The Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack with a medical-grade neoprene compression cover to keep the cold directly off your skin preventing cryoburn while delivering cold right where you need it - over your sore Achilles tendon.
Ultrasound therapy is the most effective and pain-free way to reduce inflammation, soften scar tissue and promote faster healing of your Achilles tendon.
During the healing process, scar tissue builds on your Achilles tendon and can attach the inner layers of the tendon to the surrounding paratenon that it glides through. This limits the flexibility and movement of the Achilles tendon, your foot and the gastrocnemius or soleus muscles in your calf. Fortunately, you can treat your Achilles tendon with therapeutic ultrasound to soften scar tissue and improve the gliding motion and flexibility of your Achilles tendon in the paratenon sheath.
Not only does ultrasound reduce inflammation, soften scar tissue and speed up the healing process, it also helps to prevent long term complications. Pain, lack of mobility, tendinosis, or a complete Achilles tendon rupture are some of the more common long term complications that can occur when Achilles tendinitis goes untreated. By treating your Achilles tendon with ultrasound, scar tissue becomes softer and the tissue becomes stronger reducing the risk of chronic problems in the future.
For those who suffer from long term Achilles injuries, ultrasound can help. Ultrasound therapy can help to break up scar and fibrous tissue that has built up over time on the Achilles tendon and restore elasticity to the tendon and flexibility in your ankle joint.
Ultrasound can also be used to administer therapeutic medicines into the body. This is a process known as phonophoresis. Ultrasound with phonophoresis is rapidly becoming more popular than ultrasound therapy alone.
Using the MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Gel during your ultrasound therapy gives you 2 therapies in 1. You get the benefit of the regenerating sound waves from the ultrasound device itself AND the added bonus of the therapeutic ingredients inside the gel being delivered into the tissue where it is most effective.
Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel contains the natural essential oils of Bulgarian lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and menthol and is exclusively available from MendMeShop®. These ingredients reduce inflammation, relieve pain and improve blood circulation to your Achilles tendon. 1 bottle of MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel comes FREE with every MendMeShop® Ultrasound System so you get unbeatable ultrasound therapy for your injured Achilles tendon.
MendMeShop® ultrasound therapy with phonophoresis is safe, convenient, and easy and generally requires between 5 - 10 minutes per treatment. It is based on a form of deep tissue therapy, which is generated through high frequency sound waves (that we can not hear). These waves send vibrations deep into your body and slightly increase the temperature of your soft tissue cells. The waves are delivered through a hand held transducer and conductive gel that are used together in a slow, circular motion on your skin over your Achilles tendon.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
Once the inflammation in your Achilles tendon has been reduced, nourishing and strengthening the tissue in the Achilles tendon and surrounding area is recommended.
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy, or BFST®, will speed your recovery and heal your Achilles tendon more completely preparing it for strengthening exercises.
BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your ankle to nourish your Achilles tendon, ligaments and muscles, improving elasticity and accelerating the healing process.
The Achilles tendon receives a limited blood supply compared to other tendons in the body and this greatly reduces its natural ability to heal itself. By treating your Achilles tendon with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy you can increase your body's blood supply to the ankle and increase your body's natural healing power. In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from tendinitis leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Ankle/Achilles Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
With these 3 easy therapies you will notice incredible improvement in your tendon. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Remember: We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.