Tips for Returning to Running After Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis is an unpleasant condition in which the Achilles tendon becomes irritated or inflamed. This condition can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling, and it can also prevent you from running and participating in athletic activities. If you continue to put stress on your Achilles tendon, Achilles tendinitis can potentially even lead to a ruptured tendon. However, if you take certain steps to ensure that your tendon heals properly, you can alleviate the symptoms and get back to running sooner than you might think.
Tip #1: Rest
If you want your Achilles tendinitis to heal as quickly as possible, resting the tendon is extremely important. Ideally, you should avoid any activities that put stress on your Achilles tendon, such as running, jumping, and walking uphill. If you want to continue exercising, you can switch to lower-impact activities like swimming and upper-body exercises.
Tip #2: Ice the Tendon
Periodically applying ice to your Achilles tendon is another effective way to treat Achilles tendinitis. Doing so will help reduce any inflammation and/or swelling that you’re experiencing, which will allow the tendon to heal more quickly. You can apply ice or a cold compress to the area for up to 20 minutes at a time as needed throughout the day.
Tip #3: Compress the Tendon
When dealing with Achilles tendinitis, you should also consider using an athletic wrap or surgical tape to compress your Achilles tendon. By applying targeted pressure to the area, you can both stabilize the tendon and reduce superficial swelling. This will not only speed up the healing process, but it will also prevent you from damaging the tendon further or rupturing it.
Tip #4: Elevate Your Foot
Whenever you’re sitting or lying down, it would be a good idea to keep your foot elevated. If possible, try to ensure that your Achilles tendon is positioned comfortably and above the level of your heart. This will help to reduce the swelling and get you back to your full activity level sooner.
What is the Takeaway?
If you’re a runner or any type of athlete, dealing with an injury like Achilles tendinitis can be very frustrating. However, as long as you properly care for the tendon and avoid further injury, you don’t necessarily need to be sidelined for too long. If you follow the tips covered above, you should be back to running or playing sports within a couple of months. If you’d like professional assistance with your Achilles injury, our skilled doctors at Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics are always available to help. Contact our office today if you’d like to schedule a consultation.