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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your follow-up visits.
Manage your Achilles tendinitis:
- Rest: The most important way to treat Achilles tendinitis is to rest. Rest decreases swelling and keeps your tendinitis from getting worse. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop your usual training or exercise activities. He may give you other exercises to do until your Achilles tendon heals.
- Ice: Ice decreases swelling and pain. Put ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Put this on your Achilles tendon for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times each day. Do this for 2 to 3 days or until the pain goes away.
- Heat: After 2 or 3 days, you may use heat to decrease pain and stiffness. Use a hot water bottle, heating pad, whirlpool, or warm compress. To make a compress, soak a clean washcloth in warm water. Wring out the extra water and put it on your Achilles tendon 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times each day.
- Physical therapy: Stretching and making muscles stronger may help decrease stress on your Achilles tendon. Physical therapists can teach you exercises and treatments to help your tendinitis heal.
- Foot and ankle support: You may need to wear inserts in your shoes. You may need to wrap tape around your heel and back of the leg. You may need to wear a cast, brace, or support boot.
Prevent Achilles tendinitis:
- Wear supportive shoes: Replace your running or exercise shoes before the padding or shock absorption wears out. Ask your healthcare provider which exercise shoes, heel inserts, or specially made orthotics are right for you.
- Stretch before you exercise: Always warm up your muscles and stretch gently before you exercise. Do cool down exercises when you are finished.
- Exercise the right way: If your tendinitis is caused by the way you exercise, ask a trainer, coach, or your healthcare provider for help. They can teach you ways to train or exercise to help prevent Achilles tendinitis. Do not run or exercise on uneven or hard surfaces. Instead, run on softer surfaces such as treadmills, rubber tracks, grass, or evenly packed dirt tracks.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your pain and swelling increase.
- You have questions about your condition or care.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.