Home treatment is often used for Achilles tendinopathy and in physical therapy or rehabilitation (rehab) after an Achilles tendon rupture.
Follow these steps to rest, heal and strengthen your Achilles tendon and prevent further injury:
- Rest your Achilles tendon. Avoid all activities that strain the tendon, such as stair climbing or running. Try other activities, such as swimming, while you give your tendon the days, weeks or months it needs to heal. Your doctor will tell you what you can and cannot do.
- Reduce pain by icing your Achilles tendon and taking nonprescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as directed. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Follow your physical therapy program if one has been prescribed for you. Do gentle stretching and strengthening exercises. Focus on calf stretches.
- Don't smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking slows healing, because it decreases blood supply and delays tissue repair.
- Wear footwear that protects the tendon while it heals.
- Quality athletic shoes that support your arches and cushion your heels can make a big difference in your comfort and healing. If needed, talk to your physical therapist or podiatrist about heel pads or orthotics.
- A bandage that keeps your foot flexed can restrict the motion of the Achilles tendon.
- A silicone sleeve or pad can distribute pressure on the Achilles tendon.
If your Achilles tendon shortens and stiffens while you sleep, your doctor may suggest that you wear a night brace to keep your foot flexed.
Achilles tendon rupture
No matter how you treat an Achilles tendon rupture, after treatment it's important to follow your rehab program. This program helps your tendon heal and prevents further injury.
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