Do you feel mild pain or even a slight strain in your Achilles tendon? If so, it's possible that you have a small rupture. Your Achilles tendon is critical because it attaches your foot to the rest of your leg. If your Achilles tendon is damaged, you likely won't be able to run, jump, or maybe even walk. The good news is that a mild rupture can often heal on its own with proper treatment. It's important that you take action as soon as you feel pain. If you don't, then you could end up needing surgery or even with permanent pain. Here are three steps you can take to help the rupture heal:
Rest the leg. This is the most important part of the healing process. Every time you take a step, you're using your Achilles tendon. The tendon isn't very thick, so if you have a rupture already, there's a great chance that it could tear even further. You can avoid this issue by staying off your feet as much as possible.
Also, when you're resting, be sure to elevate your leg. That will help with inflammation and aid in the healing process.
Use a heel lift or a boot. At some point, you'll likely have to get back on your feet. When you do, it's important that you still minimize the range of motion of your Achilles. One way to do this is with a heel lift insert in your shoe. As the name implies, the heel lift will raise the back portion of your foot as you walk. That's usually what your Achilles does, so the heel lift will be sharing some of the burden.
You can also wear an immobilization boot. You can get a boot from your doctor or from some pharmacies or medical supply stores. The boot will prevent you from moving your foot and will take all of the burden off of your Achilles tendon, allowing it to heal faster.
Stretch. Once your Achilles starts to heal, it will usually be covered in tight scar tissue. This tissue is vulnerable to rupture again. You can strengthen your Achilles tendon with regular stretching and light activity. Any stretches that work the calf muscle will also be good for it. You also may want to try light cardio exercise that doesn't place pressure on the Achilles. Swimming and cycling are good examples. Jogging or walking would be harmful to your Achilles.
If your Achilles doesn't seem to heal after these treatments or if the pain seems excessive, your injury is probably too serious to heal on its own. You may need a cast, physical therapy, or even surgery. Visit a trusted orthopedic specialist for consultation.Share