What is a good Achilles tendinitis treatment?


Quick Answer

Depending on the severity of a patient's Achilles tendinitis, routine treatment usually includes a combination of rest, ice, low-impact exercise and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Performing frequent stretches to strengthen the calf muscles can help to lessen the pressure placed on the Achilles tendon. It is also recommended that patients seek treatment from a physical therapist.

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Full Answer

Some patients may require the use of cortisone injections, but these can exacerbate the condition by causing the tendon to rupture, so this treatment is not preferred. Shoes with soft padding and heel lifts have been shown to limit the irritation to the Achilles tendon and allow patients to move about with less pain. Additional exercises include eccentric strengthening protocols, such as bilateral heel drops and single leg heel drops.

The AAOS explains that physical therapists are able to assess the unique symptoms related to a patient's injury and tailor exercises to treat and repair the condition. Many of the exercises designed to assist Achilles tendinitis can be dangerous and worsen the injury if they are not performed correctly under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. If nonsurgical treatments don't improve the symptoms of Achilles tendinitis within six months, the AAOS says that surgery may be required.

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