Q:

What steps should you take to make sure your Achilles tendon heals properly?

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Resting the Achilles heel after the first sign of pain or inflammation, while gently and regularly stretching the muscles out, is the best chance of an Achilles tendon healing and avoiding becoming a chronic problem, notes SportsInjuryClinic. Tension, aches or tenderness in the Achilles heel are first indications of injury, requiring cutting back or stopping specific exercise routines until the heel is treated.

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Early recognition of pain in the Achilles tendon gives a person the best chance in healing the tendon properly, according to About.com. Applying ice therapy for the first 24 to 48 hours is beneficial, and after that, heat therapy is advised to reduce inflammation. Wearing a heel pad reduces strain on the calf muscles, resulting in less stress on the Achilles heel. Taping the Achilles tendon takes pressure off the heel and allows for walking and mild exercise

After a limited exercise routine, gently stretch each calf while the Achilles tendon is warm and flexible, as strengthening the calf reduces stress on the tendon, explains About.com. To strengthen the calf, perform toe raises, balance on the toes while standing and use a wall to stretch out each calf. Some experts believe routine strengthening of calf muscles and soleus muscles of the lower leg can allow a person to avoid getting Achilles tendonitis, a condition that can become chronic.

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