Achilles tendonitis often results from the tearing, swelling, and stiffness of the connective tissue surrounding your heel as well as the sides of your ankle. One of the first signs of this condition is throbbing pain or tenderness every time you lift or move your heel. The pain usually affects close the side parts of your tendon.
It should be noted that your Achilles tendon is known as the strongest and largest tendon found in your body. It is activated each time you run, lift, climb, or walk. The joint runs down from your lower leg’s back then connects your calf muscle and heel bone.
Due to the excessive amount of weight that it often bears and its frequent use, there is a great chance for your Achilles tendon to become more prone to suffering from stress-related injuries – one of which is the Achilles tendonitis.
The condition is debilitating considering the fact that it causes severe pain, which usually becomes apparent from prolonged running, sprinting, and climbing the stairs. It has other uncomfortable and unwanted symptoms including swelling, stiff muscles, tenderness especially if you touch the affected area, and difficulty walking or standing.
Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions for treating Achilles tendonitis at home. All it takes is to figure out which one works for your case the most. Some home remedies for Achilles tendonitis are:
#1 – Cold Compress
One of the most effective at-home treatments for Achilles tendonitis is cold compress. What’s good about this solution is that you can expect it to minimize the pain and swelling – two of the major symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. Cold compress also works by relaxing your muscles, especially those affected by the condition.
What you have to do to take advantage of this home remedy is to get a towel and put ice cubes in it. After putting the cubes, tying the towel securely should be the next step. This will serve as an ice pack, which you need to apply to the affected spot for around ten to fifteen minutes. Do this several times each day or as you deem necessary.
Alternatively, it is also possible to utilize frozen peas placed in a bag as a cold compress. One warning when trying this solution is to prevent the ice from having direct contact with your skin as such might lead to frostbite.
#2 – Stretching and Adequate Rest
Stretching is also another natural remedy for the condition. The only thing that you need to do is to stretch your heel gently as a means of promoting recovery. One tip when doing this solution is to avoid too aggressive stretching, especially if you are still starting out, as that might only worsen the pain.
Do it really gradually and gently. Try to hold stretches for your Achilles tendon for around ten to thirty seconds each time. Also, make it a point to do the stretches a few times each day. You may notice that it’s a bit uncomfortable in the beginning. However, you will notice that it lessens the overall pain eventually.
You should also try stretches that you can do with slow or gradual repetitions. Once you notice that the pain subsides, you can also slowly increase the reps. Aside from stretching, you can also obtain relief through proper and adequate rest.
Note that the injury is often caused by overuse. That said, proper and adequate rest is an effective self-care method designed to reduce the pain caused by Achilles tendonitis. Allow the tendon to take a rest and stay away from rigorous activities, like running, too much walking, and climbing.
If you are looking for another form of exercise that won’t strain your tendon too much, then consider switching to swimming.
#3 – Elastic Bandage or Warm Wraps
Both the warm wrap and the elastic bandage are helpful in treating Achilles tendonitis at home considering the fact that it lessens the amount of stress that you apply to the affected muscles. The result is reduced swelling and pain. It can also speed up the process of healing.
Just use the compression wrap or elastic bandage as a wrap surrounding your lower leg and foot. Your leg should be elevated during the process as a means of reducing the flow of blood into the area.
Make sure that the wrap stays there for days or until you notice that the sore or swollen area is gone. Avoid wrapping the areas too tightly, though, as such might only cause poor circulation. Make the wrap a bit loose if you notice that there is an increase in pain or other Achilles tendonitis symptoms.
#4 – Gentle Massage
Giving the affected area a gentle massage aids in treating the problem naturally, too. With a good and gentle massage, you can improve blood circulation and reduce the pain caused by Achilles tendonitis. Furthermore, it results in relaxed muscles and minimal stiffness and swelling.
Make sure to use proper oils when doing the massage, like mustard, olive, sesame, and coconut oil. What you have to do is to warm your preferred oil a bit. After that, apply the oil in the lower portion of your feet and heel then massage them gently using your fingers. Do it for around ten to fifteen minutes.
Consider repeating the whole process several times daily until the time you notice the pain subsiding. If you have problems doing a self-massage, though, then you can always seek the aid of a professional massage therapist or someone you trust.
#5 – Protective Footwear
Treating Achilles tendonitis naturally is also possible if you invest in the best protective footwear designed for the condition. The most suitable shoes for those who are suffering from Achilles tendonitis are actually those athletic shoes that offer excellent arch support, especially on the affected foot.
You will also know that you are wearing the right shoes for Achilles tendonitis if it provides more than enough cushion for your heel. Go for one, which increases the chances of your tendon to heal and recover. You can also choose to add silicone heel pads into your footwear as they can help minimize the pressure applied on your tendon.
The right footwear is also one of the best ways to prevent the condition from developing. This especially holds true for those who depend too much on the different parts of their feet to accomplish most of their activities. That said, make it a point to invest in the most appropriate and supportive footwear that can prevent or heal the condition.
#6 – Turmeric
Turmeric actually contains an active compound or ingredient called curcumin. It is known to be an excellent anti-inflammatory that works in minimizing the pain and swelling brought on by Achilles tendonitis. To take advantage of this solution, just mix together one cup of milk and one teaspoon turmeric powder. Let the mixture boil.
Once boiled, simmer for a few minutes over medium heat. Pour one tablespoon of honey. Once done, take it out of the heat. Drink the mixture two times a day. Such will encourage proper healing.
Just make sure that you seek the advice of your doctor first prior to trying out this natural treatment. Consulting your doctor will also give you a rough idea of the right dosage that you should take.
#7 – Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another effective cure for the condition. Most of the properties of ACV are known to be anti-inflammatory and alkalizing, making it really capable of lessening the pain and inflammation you are experiencing. What you should do is to pour one cup of unfiltered ACV in a tub containing hot water.
After that, soak the leg affected by the problem directly into the water containing the vinegar. You should soak it there for around 27-30 minutes. Apply it once daily until you notice that most of the symptoms disappear.
Another way to use ACV is to mix 1-2 teaspoons of it with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. It should produce a paste, which you should then dilute in a glass full of water. Drink it twice daily for best results.
#8 – Castor Oil
You can also apply castor oil into the affected area if you aim to lessen the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. The oil is anti-inflammatory considering the fact that it contains ricinoleic acid. It also contains capsaicin, which further helps treat the condition.
It needs to be applied topically to the affected spot. Leave it there for a few minutes. Do it twice or thrice a day to experience a significant reduction in the pain and inflammation that the condition often causes.
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If you have Achilles tendonitis, then you have to take note that surgeries are not the only available solutions. You can try natural means and at-home treatments first and figure out if any of them actually work in making you recover from the condition. All the remedies mentioned here are natural so there’s no need to worry about severe side effects.