Achilles Injury Treatments
Yes, your Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in your body - it is designed to handle much of the force from each step you take. Now start to consider the additional supreme forces that come from running, jumping or just carrying something extremely heavy. You are asking the achilles bear the brunt of the forces which can be extreme. For many athletes and weekend warriors, this is enough to cause significant tendon damage; consider further that as we age tissues begin to break down to the point where the achilles can no longer handle the forces that it was once able to.
It is important to treat Achilles tendon injuries as soon as possible, as any activity or strain you put on your tendon can re-injure it further. Though the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of an Achilles condition can be overwhelming, it is possible to overcome it. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results.
Most doctors, surgeons and orthopedic specialists will recommend conservative treatment methods for Achilles Tendonitis injuries before even considering surgery. It is generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the any already damaged tissue. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring more PT and conservative treatment options post-surgery. If not dealt with properly, your tendonitis injury could end up in worse condition than before the surgery! This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort.
Most doctors, physicians and orthopedic specialists will recommend conservative treatments for minor achilles injuries (non-minor = large tears or full ruptures) before considering surgery.
Common Conservative Treatment Methods Recommended Include:
- Rest - This is important for initial recovery for both Midpoint and Insertional Achilles Tendonitis; rest and elevation will help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation in the early stages of injury. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting and elevating your foot whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that put stress on your Achilles tendon until your pain and inflammation settles. Too much rest can also be harmful to achilles injuries because ankle joint immobility can actually cause stiffening in the joint. This is why rest should be used when reducing initial pain and swelling, but should not be considered for more long-term conservative treatment.
- Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your injury it's also important to avoid all activities that may have caused your tissue damage (especially any repetitive movement). Continuing on with regular activities can increase the severity of your injury, turning a mild to moderate case of tendon damage into a downward spiral of worsening damage that may eventually severely impact your life. Also, trying to 'work around' your injury will eventually give rise to over-compensation injuries in other areas of your body.
- Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack - Cold is very effective at reducing pain and inflammation - use at the onset of the injury and during flareups.
- Use Circulation Boost (T•Shellz Wrap®) - after swelling and inflammation has been reduced. You can use your own blood flow to maximize your rehabilitation, maintain healthy blood flow to your achilles and heel, decrease recovery time, and boost the bodys healing rate. Promoting blood flow to your achilles will help to minimize the growth of scar tissue, increase flexibility and help prevent atrophy.
- Rehabilitative Stretching under supervision of a PT or doctor. The intent of this is to provide you with increased range of motion, pain relief and strengthening of the surrounding tissue of the joint. Doctors or surgeons typically won't perform a surgery until they feel that their patient has put effort into treating their injury with conservative treatment methods. This may include up to 4 to 6 months of visits to a PT clinic. If you haven't experienced any improvement in your condition during that time then surgery may be considered. Agressive PT approaches may focus on forced or manual manipulation of the achilles - this means your physical therapists will be trying to move your achilles past the point of comfort as they strive to increase range of motion and prevent further atrophy. This can be painful and end up making your injury worse if not done correctly. (reference: 1)
- Stretching - Stretching your joint in PT and at home will help you to regain your range of motion much faster than not stretching at all. Stretching in many ways is key maintaining good Range of Motion (ROM) in your joint, and stretching can be made much easier with use of a T•Shellz Wrap® before to warm up soft tissue, and a Cold Compress or Ice Pack treatment after to prevent any return of swelling and inflammation.
For acute (new or recent) Achilles tendon tears that have the ability to heal on their own - your doctor may even cast your foot in a toe pointed position (in something called a "hanging enquinus cast") or in a removable brace/splint. A removable splint can be very helpful to prepare you for PT sessions and mobility exercises.
Prolonged use of a cast, removable splint, or long-term rest (restricted movement) without proper exercise or stretching can make your Achilles tendon injury worse. If your Achilles tendon remains completely immobilized and at constant rest, the ends of the Achilles tendon (where it attaches to bone or other muscles) will begin to fill in with scar tissue as part of the healing process. You may also have on-going symptoms of pain, swelling and inflammation, and even poor blood flow circulation.
Lack of proper blood flow and growth of scar tissue will decrease the natural length of the tendon (atrophy) and tighten tissue, reducing the flexibility between your ankle and foot. Your ability to push off with your foot in certain activities such as running, jumping, or going up and down stairs all become compromised. You are also at an increased risk of re-rupture of the tendon, especially if the initial injury was large and required surgery in the first place.
Achilles Supports and Exercises
Your doctor may encourage you to use a splint or brace. This will gently add compression to the muscles in the lower leg and support the tendons in the achilles and ankle. Most physicians caution you in not wearing a brace too frequently, as soft tissue stretching and healing can be compromised. In some cases, prolonged use of a brace may cause increased secondary conditons such as pinched nerves and interruption to the blood flow to the joint.
Restoring Flexibility and Strength in the Lower Leg
PT is a very helpful way to decrease pain in the soft tissue, restore strength to atrophied muscles and improve ankle, heel and leg strength and mobility. Your physical therapist will start you on a program will be tailored for your achilles tendon injury.
Once your pain starts to reduce, a physical therapist will also set up an individualized strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym.
This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines.
A trained physical therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is effective. For best, long term results use the T•Shellz Wrap® before undergoing PT to gain residual elongation and extensibility of collagen tissue. (reference: Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition [amazon.com link] Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
As you start to return to your activities, it is good to gauge how well you are using your achilles in these activities to determine if you can decrease stress on the injured tissue. This may involve changing your technique for sports to reduce the singular stresses on the recovering tendon.
You may also need to change equipment you use at your job or at home to help you perform tasks more effectively and safely. More frequent short breaks (and even stretches) at work are usually very helpful, as this allows your body a chance to relax and take some strain off your stressed soft tissue.
It is important to speak with a medical professional or occupational therapist to get more information about proper equipment, procedures and tools necessary for the specific activity you participate in or the office/work setting you work in during your normal daily life.
The best way to manage the health of your body is to understand the tools for a healthy lifestyle. Using proven conservative treatments, alternative therapies, protection, and self-management (diet, rest, exercise), you can proactively manage your own recovery. Your lifelong health depends on your commitment to living a healthy and safe lifestyle.
You may have to modify some of your activities or movements during your recovery to ensure the long term health of your achilles. Even if you are already feeling less pain and greater mobility, you need to continue with your treatment plan. Until your ankle is healed, you are still at risk for further damage. Keep in mind, the longer you wait to treat your tendon injury, the greater the potential for re-injury or for permanent damage to occur.
Most often, more serious achilles injuries are developed after ignoring your body's warning signs. Masking pain and immobility or continuing strenuous repetitive movements cause micro tears to form in your tendons. If your body is not given a chance to heal, scar tissue will form. This weak, inflexible tissue will cause chronic tendonosis symptoms that include constant pain and functional restriction.
Most cases of minor achilles injuries are completely treatable by conservative therapies. If you want to continue to enjoy your activities, sports, or have a physically demanding job, committing yourself to a conservative treatment routine, as soon as possible, will increase your chances of a full recovery.
The more committed you are to your recovery, the faster you can return to your active lifestyle free from pain and immobility.
Non-surgical Achilles Treatments
Your initial treatment should involve decreasing any swelling, relieving any pain and stress on the back of the lower leg, correcting any bio-mechanical dysfunction, and then restoring strength and mobility to your injured achilles. It's also very important to follow any instructions you receive from your physician.
Conservative Treatment Stage 1: Reduce The Initial Inflammation
Stage 1: If the injury is very recent (acute) - use a good quality cold pack and Arnica Pain Relief Cream. If the injury has been going on for awhile, then skip to Stage 2 below.
If you are experiencing pain and swelling in the very early stages of the injury (first 48 to 72 hours), the first step in a conservative treatment protocol would be to focus on reducing the discomfort by applying a quality cold pack to the injured achilles along with a high quality pain relief cream such as our Arnica Infusion Cream.
Not only will you use your cold pack for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury, but you should also use it during other stages of the healing process. Some examples include...
- after any activity that stresses the achilles in a moderate way. It is wise to quickly apply cold to not only reduce the pain, but to also minimize tissue damage that may have occurred during the prior event.
- If you have a job that requires you to place some demands on your injured achilles/ankle. If that is the case, use cold immediately following work and if the opportunity allows - use it for 15 to 20 minutes during lunch or another break time.
- If you are in a post-operative situation where cold compression would be utilized heavily for at least the first few weeks following the procedure. Similarly, if you are scheduled for upcoming surgery, then you will need a high quality cold device to use.
Having a Cold Compress or Ice Pack available at home to use if and when the need arises is helpful. Many of you already do so.
However, too many people over-focus on cold while ignoring the most critical aspect to healing - nourishing the injured tissues with a healthy supply of blood flow needed to repair and rebuild the injured tissues.
This leads to the most important recommendation...
Stage 2: Focus on Increasing Blood Flow To The Achilles As This is The ONLY Way To Gain Strong Healthy Soft Tissue
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to injured tissues can be difficult. When the injury is ankle related, the challenges are even greater. Traditional methods require your muscle to move to promote blood flow (exercise), but that same motion that promotes blood flow can at times lead to making your pain and condition worse.
- Have you reinjured your achilles by returning to work too quickly?
- How many times in the past have you aggravated your lower leg just trying to perform basic tasks around the home?
- Is your debilitated heel/achilles preventing you from work or activities you love to do?
Most people we deal with tell us these scenarios have happened to them many times in the past. Perhaps it has already happened to you.
Promoting blood flow within a muscle or soft tissue injury to help the body heal itself is a concept that has been utilized for centuries. This is where the focus has to be if you are seeking long-term improvement.
Oxygen and nutrients, carried within the blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, recovering from an injury or condition will be delayed...sometimes for a very long period of time.
The real challenge is how do you promote blood flow to the tendon without causing further injury? This goal is further complicated by the fact the achilles (and muscles controlling the ankle joint) are involved in the majority of the physical movements we perform each day.
An injury that often leads to straining in other areas will make an overall recovery hard to initiate. People tend to "chase the pain", meaning they only focus on treating an area that is actively painful, while not taking into account the fact they other areas of the body will be overcompensating...eventually leading to issues in those areas as well.
It is through the blood the body carries the nutrients and oxygen that injured tissues rely on for recovery.. It is well known that increased blood flow helps your body accelerate the healing process.
This is why the T•Shellz Wrap®is such an important tool. The whole purpose of the wrap is to provide localized heat while also significantly increasing blood flow to tissue in the treatment area. The result of this is as follows:
- Blood vessels within the treatment area relax and naturally expand (this is termed "vasodilation") permitting more blood flow to reach the very tissues you are trying to heal.
- When tissue temperature increases, the tissues increase both in length and flexiblity. Elongated and flexible tissue is less likely to strain and tear, so your risk of further injury and/or reinjury is reduced when this occurs. Less injury during recovery means 1) your recovery will be streamlined and not sidelined due to recurring injury, and 2) less re-injury will mean less scar tissue should grow in the area.
- Enhanced blood flow benefits tissue in a number of ways: 1) It is likely to clear the area of toxins and excess fluid build up more quickly, thereby reducing inflammation and 2) Scar tissue can form in areas that are starved for blood flow - an enhanced blood flow is more likely to reduce such occurrences.
With a T•Shellz Wrap® application, more blood begins to flow effectively to the treatment area - for the length of the treatment and a short duration thereafter. Deep tissue needs the extra blood flow to heal as it is through the blood the body carries the oxygen and nutrients needed for proper and long-term healing.
Now, on to recommendation number two in the journey to heal your injured achilles...
The Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® - A Healthy Achilles For The Long Term
The best option we came across in our research to accomplish effective blood flow to tissue in the achilles area at home is the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap®. Use of this device results in an increase of blood flow within the treatment area - all in a non-invasive manner.
Have you seen what happens when you add water to a flower wilted from drought? In essence, your injured achilles is much like a "wilted" flower; your body wants to heal its injury, but needs lots of nutrients to do it. Blood brings life to your tissue by delivering healing nutrients and oxygen that are vital for their growth and survival. In addition, the blood carries away toxins and waste cleaning the area and healing it faster. Without a good supply of blood, your achilles simply won't heal properly.
Using a T•Shellz Wrap® will not expose you to the risk of causing further harm to soft tissue like you can when using rigorous exercise. The Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® accomplishes the goal of enhanced blood flow without the need for intensive exercise and as such reduces your risk of re-injury.
T•Shellz Wrap® = Localized Enhanced Circulatory Response (LEC Response)
The intention of an Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® is to ease pain by dilating blood vessels, decrease stiffness by elongating soft tissue, improve blood circulation, and boost metabolism and enzyme activity. In stimulating localized blood flow to damaged soft tissue, you provide needed oxygen and nutrients to grow strong healthy collagen. In addition, you will experience a clearing of toxins and excess fluid build up from the injury site. Over the intermediate term, this helps to reduce incidents of swelling as trapped fluids will be whisked away - reducing pressure on blood vessels.
Using the T•Shellz Wrap® is truly a unique experience. Within moments of applying a treatment to your achilles, you can feel the healing sensation due to the increase in blood flow within the area. During a treatment, and for quite some time after you finish, the treated area will feel relaxed and warm. It's a very soothing sensation and extremely effective. Blood flow in this area is key, as the Achilles tendon receives very little blood flow to begin with.
Who Should Use the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap®
We recommend the use of an Achilles T•Shellz Wrap®:
- If you have injured your achilles or other soft tissue in the back of your heel, then the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® will provide the all-important function of boosting blood circulation where it is needed most.
- If you are dealing with conditions affecting your range of motion such as impingement or even arthritis.
- If you have a chronic achilles condition that has lasted for years- this device is intended to kick start the recovery process and help strengthen the surrounding and supporting tissues. Many of our past clients had suffered for years, then were completely amazed at the results only after a few months of treatments.
- If you are still working with an injured achilles, the T•Shellz Wrap® will help relax injured soft tissue prior to work and after a day at the job.
- If you are still trying to enjoy your favorite activities such as gardening, tennis, golf, etc - use the T•Shellz Wrap® prior to activity to help reduce chances of re-injuring or re-aggravating those targeted tissues.
- If you are suffering from bursitis and want to treat a major source of it (secondary damage to the muscle and tendon surrounding the bursa sac). Through overuse or degenerative changes in the lower leg, the muscle and tendons surrounding the bursa sacs will tighten and constrict. When they do, they place pressure on the bursa, causing it to become irritated. Applying a T•Shellz Wrap® to the achilles helps relax soft tissue, taking pressure off the bursa.
- If you are experiencing atrophy in your lower leg and want to reduce the chance of re-injury - this is a perfect treatment to use on a regular basis, by enhancing blood flow and elongating soft tissue.
- If you have been to a clinic for some form of massage or stretching and your PT or physician has recommended conservative treatments for home.
- If you have injured your achilles and need surgery, then you will find a blood circulation booster to be a powerful tool after surgery to help surgically repaired tissues recover for long-term health. (once the surgery wound has healed and your physician has given the ok)
- If you are experiencing tightness in your muscle(s) and want to reduce the chance of re-injury while stretching - we recommend the use of a T•Shellz Wrap® before you stretch.
T•Shellz Wraps® contain a unique Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe energy over its entire surface. This energy is absorbed by soft tissue in your achilles and lower leg, opening blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood flow. Increased blood circulation is what your body needs to accelerate the healing of soft tissue and this is why we recommend the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® for the achilles heel area.
What Else Makes the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® So Special?
We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective home treatments to increase localized blood flow to tissue in the area of application.
We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do...quickly relieve pain and aid in the recovery from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries.
The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.
The T•Shellz Wrap® has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long enough that you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.
Treatments are max 30 minutes in duration and the device can be worn over clothing. This allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.
A Recap of the Benefits of the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap®..
- It can be used before activity or exercise to warm up tissue in the back of the lower leg/heel to reduce the risk of further injury
- FDA Registered medical device for use in home or clinics - very high quality
- Temporarily increases flexibility and length of soft tissue (reducing the re-injury factor)
- It soothes pain and whisks away toxins
- Carbon fiber Energy Pad is strong, lightweight, and flexible - contours very easily
- A boost in blood flow helps maximize the body's ability to recover from soft tissue damage. This can be beneficial in saving time and money when associated with doctor or physio visits
- A boost in blood flow will maximize the body's ability to recover quickly. This can be beneficial in achilles post-surgery rehabilitation, getting you back to work faster. Do not use until at least 6 weeks after surgery, and only after approval from your doctor.
When Should I Use My TShellz Wrap During the Day?
The most common question we receive from individuals prior to purchasing is - how many times a day should I be using my T•Shellz Wraps® and when should I be using them? While treatment plans will differ for each individual and their specific injury, there are general guidelines that should be adhered to.
- Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack when you are experiencing inflammation (usually after exertion or movement of the injury area).
The Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® would then be used:
- Right after rising from bed in the morning (as this is when it is most stiff)
- Prior to going to bed at night (to relax the achilles, allowing for better sleep)
- Before you know you will be using your injured joint (going to work, driving, running, walking, etc).
Stage 3 - In Between Treatments With T•Shellz Wrap®, Apply Our New Fast Acting Pain Relief Cream Called ARNICA INFUSION
Dealing with aches and pains affecting the foot, ankle, leg, knee, hamstring, hip, back, arm, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand? If so, then applying the Arnica Infusion to any of these targeted areas will bring about fast relief from the pain and sore tissues. Simply apply a small amount of cream to the body and moments later, you will experience a soothing and comforting sensation over the area.
Arnica Infusion is specially designed to relieve pain due to sore muscles and joints associated with arthritis, backaches, sprains, strains, and bruises. No matter if you are dealing with an acute injury, chronic pain, or a general "flare-up" - you will experience fast relief from pain and inflammation.
This is a product that many of our current MendMeShop customers asked us to develop. So we focused our time and resources over the past few years and came up, with we believe, will be one of more effective, fast acting, topical pain relief creams on the market.
You are likely familiar with some of the standard topical agents on the market as most of our customers use them. The are mass marketed and even found in most department stores now.
Well, we are here to say that Arnica Infusion goes many steps beyond what they offer.
Made in the USA at an FDA registered manufacturing facility, you can be assured that Arnica Infusion is both safe and effective. We only source top grade ingredients while implementing strict quality control checks during every step of the production process. Expect the same high quality that MendMeShop customers have been accustomed to since we started the company in 2005.
The "Cool Blue" formula is the perfect balance between the smooth application of a cream and the effective absorbing factor of a gel. It is not too thick and not too thin - just the right texture. Best of all, it feels very nice on the skin!
Each application of Arnica Infusion feels so comforting and soothing, we are certain it will become an item you will not want to live without.
Arnica Infusion Ingredients
The Arnica Infusion formula is based on a combination of scientific research and the use of high quality ingredients. The properties within the formula were chosen for their pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and soothing qualities.
The acting ingredients within the formula include ones many of us are familiar with; along with ones that have not received a lot of publicity (only in research circles). Extensive testing resulted in a blending of ingredients that provides the most synergistic of benefits.
The notable ingredients in the Arnica Infusion formula include:
- Arnica - powerful anti-inflammatory, speeds recovery, enhances circulation
- Menthol - provides deep penetrating pain relief with a nice cooling sensation
- Vitamin B6 - promotes normal nerve function
- MSM - supports healthy connective tissues, anti-inflammatory
- Ilex Leaf Extract - increases circulation, skin conditioner
- Vitamin E - anti-inflammatory, enhances circulation, hydrates the skin
- Aloe - anti-inflammatory properties, soothes the skin
- Tea Tree - enhances penetration of ingredients
Extensive quality control procedures during the manufacturing process ensure the ingredients and final product are both safe and effective. We would not stake our reputation on anything but the best.
When Do I Apply the Arnica Infusion?
While At Work
Apply Arnica Infusion at work to help reduce acute discomfort associated with overuse of muscles and joints. No matter if you are in a physical demanding job or work within an office environment, you will be placing stress on different parts of the body and aches and pains will result.
Before Or After Work, Sports, & Activity
If you suffer from a sprained ligament, pulled muscle, strained tendon, or even bruising - apply Arnica Infusion for quick relief of the pain.
Chronic Pain Suffering
Application of Arnica Infusion can be done up to a maximum of 4 times per day on a consistent basis to help bring about relief from various pains and aches.
In-between Treatments With the T•Shellz Wraps®
Follow up your T-Shellz and Cold treatments with an application of Arnica Infusion. Combine the pain relieving benefits of Arnica Infusion along with the healing benefits of the wraps to make your recovery go much more smoothly.
Do not apply Arnica Infusion within a 2 hour timespan before a T•Shellz Wrap® treatment.
Whether you decide to use the Arnica Infusion in conjunction with the T•Shellz Wrap® and other treatments - or if you decide to use the cream as a stand-alone product - you will not be disappointed with the results. We guarantee it.
A Note On OverCompensation
Since you are reading this, you probably know that serious achilles injuries do not just disappear. Over time, they usually wreak havoc on your knee and ankle due to lack of movement and over-compensation. It will also wreak havoc on your opposite achilles due to overcompensation. Recovery takes a longer time for such chronic (long term) injuries, but proper healing is essential to regain strength and get you back to the activities you enjoy.
The longer your injury endures, the greater the risk of running into serious overcompensation injuries.
To Stop Re-Injury & Reduce the Risk of a More Serious Overcompensation Injury, You Need to Heal Quickly & Completely!
Anyone in need of rapid recovery and complete healing must consider a comprehensive treatment plan that includes an effective means to minimize swelling and inflammation yet also stimulate healing and tissue elasticity. We have found no better set of tools that can be used at home than this:
Conservative Treatment Tools Our Clients Have Used to Help
Limit Achilles Damage & Boost The Body's Soft Tissue Repair Process at Home:
- A Cold Compress or Ice Pack to reduce inflammation wherever there is pain and/or swelling (as soon as possible).
- An Achilles TShellz Wrap to increase blood-flow to the treatment area (Circulatory Boost).
- MendMeShop Arnica Pain Cream for temporary relief of pain due to sore muscles and joints.
- An Exercise & Stretching Plan to prevent muscle atrophy and shortened tendons in the leg. A proper plan will increase elasticity and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the ankle, calf, knee, and upper leg.
Conservative treatment tools just like these have been used successfully by thousands of soft tissue injury sufferers - just like you.
T•Shellz Wrap® = Enhanced Blood Flow in the Treatment Area
We believe the use of T•Shellz Wraps® for boosting blood flow to soft tissue in the area of application is one of the most under-utilized home treatment options available on the market today. We have client after client that have tried many options out there and have been amazed at how effective and fast the TShellz Wrap treatment can relieve pain and increase blood flow in the treatment area.
With regular use of the TShellz Wrap:
- Your pain will be reduced*.
- Due to increased blood flow, soft tissue in the treatment area will be expected to recover at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury*.
- Tissue in the treated area should experience a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue* due to the heat effect on soft tissue. This should translate into a reduced rate of re-injury occurrence as soft tissue is known to lengthen and become more flexible when exposed to warm temperature. (*Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition.
(amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
Not only does the incorporation of conservative treatments (such as the use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap®) greatly assist with the body's recovery process, but it also contributes to minimizing risk of long term complications. Pain, lack of mobility, tendinosis, or a complete tendon rupture are some of the more common long term complications that can occur when achilles tendinitis, tendon tears, and other injuries go untreated. By treating your achilles properly with a doctor recommended home conservative treatment protocol (including a stretching regimen), you can minimize proliferation of scar tissue while maintaining flexibility and strong blood flow in the area. This will help reduce the risk of chronic problems in the future.
Click HERE to Go To Our Online Store If you have questions, call our office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental US).
During the healing process and especially in surgery, scar tissue can build on injured soft tissue. This scar tissue can cause tendons, muscles, and bursa to thicken, increasing the chance of impingements.
In addition, scar tissue can bind the tendons, muscles and ligaments together limiting the movement of these tendons and ligaments that were once elastic and allowed the ankle its large range of motion. As a result, movement of the entire joint is limited making it difficult to walk without a limp or do basic tasks such as climb stairs. If left untreated, the ankle may 'freeze' further, making movement even more problematic. At the very least, scar tissue leaves your tendon weaker than a healthy tendon, leaving your achilles at greater risk of further deterioration and possible tearing.
Shortened muscles and tendons due to lack of use is a real problem during recovery. When you start to feel better and use the joint, the shortened muscles and tendons get over-strained, introducing small microtears. These microtears start the formation of scar tissue, which unlike muscle or tendon, is completely inflexible. Once there is scar tissue in there, the tears will continue; eventually you've got a serious problem with a joint that does not flex as much as it did before and this becomes a chronic condition. You'll know you have scar tissue when you get shooting pain if you stretch your joint too far... it is something that PTs often deal with (ie. shoulder manipulation).
To prevent this, use the TShellz Wrap before undertaking any significant activity, as this treatment will actually increase the flexibility of muscles, tendons and ligaments. This is actually why we advise plantar fasciitis sufferers to treat themselves with a Plantar TShellz Wrap first thing in the morning before walking (walking stresses the plantar ligament on the bottom of the foot). After treatment, the plantar ligament is more flexible and can handle higher walking stresses before it starts to micro-tear. The ability for soft tissue to stretch further before micro-tearing will allow you to gently stretch your recovering joint without re-injuring it yet again. This is a huge boon for recovery. We also highly advise the TShellz Wrap it for post surgery recovery, as surgery will always introduce scar tissue and TShellz Wrap treatments in post-op recovery will reduce scar tissue growth, increase joint flexibility and get you back on your feet faster.
During your recovery, you may have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your lower leg until your pain and inflammation settle, and you gain more mobility and strength. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Remember: We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.
Physical Therapist Visits
PT is a beneficial way to help decrease pain in the soft tissues, restore atrophied muscles and improve ankle strength and mobility. The type of PT and the duration will be dependent on your injury.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist can set up an individualized achilles strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines.
Individuals will often try stretching and leg workouts on their own, to try and build up their strength. However, in doing so, they can do more damage to their achilles. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is effective. For fast and effective results, use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and an Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® in conjunction with PT and an exercise program.
NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be used if required to help manage your pain and inflammation. However, these aren't recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties. Some health professionals have also recommended natural supplements such as glucosamine, MSM or hyaluronic acid to help strengthen the injured tissue.
In many cases of soft tissue injury, the use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack can greatly reduce the need for NSAIDs. Cold compression is a natural, less harmful way to reduce your pain and inflammation.
If pain and inflammation persist, you can see your physician to investigate injections or topical medications, which may help reduce swelling and inflammation. Your physician will determine whether this is worthwhile on a case-by-case basis.
Doctors and Surgeons are always improving the techniques used in surgery, and results from surgery now are much more positive than they were in the past. However, all surgeries introduce scar tissue, and recovery from surgery is better than ever but often disappointing when it comes to full recovery expectations.
If you do wind up getting surgery, know that rehabilitation at-home while attending regular PT or doctor appointments is vital for your overall recovery.
Consistent exercise and conservative treatment on a daily basis during your rehabilitation while working with your doctor or PT is key. This is why we feel you should consider adding the T•Shellz Wrap® to your home recovery regimen once you are approved for PT.
The more consistent you work at enhancing blood flow to surgically repaired soft tissue, the more consistent the healing process will be. Nourishing the tissues will more oxygen and nutrients (which are carried through the blood stream) will give the body a better ability to produce new, healthy collagen. In effect, you will help the body produce stronger tissues while potentially reducing the number of setbacks that can occur following surgical procedures.
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The Key Points To Keep in Mind When Treating Your Injury
Make Sure That Complete Healing is Your #1 Goal
We all know that if the injury was healed, the pain would go away but what about the opposite situation? If the pain is gone, does that mean the injury is better? Unfortunately, this is not always true.
Too many people only focus on suppressing pain symptoms while providing less attention to the true healing aspects of the body. Experiencing less pain, while obviously a good short-term goal, does not equate to underlying healing. Scar tissue can remain for months after one gets to a point of being relatively pain-free. However, as long the weak and brittle scar tissue remains, you are susceptible to re-injury or re-aggravation. Certain motions or movements can cause the weaker tissue to easily tear - resulting in some reversal of the recovery up until that point.
This is why we recommend for people to continue with their doctor recommended exercises and to continue with mild treatments of the T•Shellz Wrap® for a period of time - to better ensure complete recovery.
Ongoing treatments to enhance circulation are intended to soothe, relax and promote healing of damaged soft tissue in the application area. T•Shellz treatment also results in the ability of soft tissue to extend further due to the effect of heat on soft tissue. The more extensible your tissues are, the less likely they are to strain or sprain.
Resting Your Ankle/Achilles Will Help, But Only Temporarily
People tell us all the time, "I was told that if I stay off my feet for a few weeks, my pain will disappear for good."
The truth is, tendonitis pain is usually a culmination of numerous factors, such as repetitive stress, poor posture, acute injuries, and overcompensation issues resulting from other muscle and soft tissue ailments.
To really deal with a injury, you have to know what the injury is - so get to the doctor and find out the source of the problem.
Soft tissue damage in the lower leg and ankle is typically a result of a tear or strain in your muscle, tendon or ligament. Tendonitis, tendinopathy, tendinosis, tenosynovitis, nerve impingement, general ankle instability, calf muscle spasms, heel bursitis, capsulitis, pain associated with trigger points, scar tissue, and arthritis are not uncommon issues in the lower leg and foot, perhaps especially due to the enormous stresses caused by support the body's weight day in and day out. When dealing with arthritis and/or gout, soft tissue damage would be considered a secondary effect due to the underlying disease; in such cases, soft tissue pain and inflammation can be temporarily alleviated, but until the underlying cause is dealt with, the soft tissue damage will most likely return.
It may take weeks or months for these pain triggers to surface. When they , however, merely resting will solve the underlying issues. You need to utilize actions and options that actually treat the source of the pain and help reverse the damage that has been done.
Resting has a role to play, but it is only one small factor in a recovery plan.
We Can Get You Started For Less Than The Cost Of A Few Clinic Visits
The Next Step Is Up To You!
Living with pain is never easy as it affects your entire lifestyle. Nothing is more important than making the proper decision when it comes to treating your muscle injury. Most methods only mask the problems or provide temporary relief; they do not treat the pain at its source.
AidMyAchilles stands out in this regard as our goal is to help you heal for the longer-term.
The bottom line is, you are welcome to try our products for a full 2 months. If you do not receive the benefits that others have experienced, simply return your purchase back to us and we will issue a prompt & full refund. There will be no hard feelings.
The fastest option you have to get our product into your hands as soon as possible is by placing your order online - at this very moment..
If you choose to order through our online shop, know that we keep no credit card data on file. Once the transaction is completed, the credit information disappears from our internal systems.
As you can see, ordering from us is a very easy and safe process, no matter if choosing to order on-line or over the phone.
AidMyAchilles advisors do not work on commission, so be assured you will only receive fair and objective information.
Other Achilles Tendon Therapies
There are many things that can ease the pressure on your Achilles Tendon as you recover. Your doctor will have looked at the structure of your foot and ankle to give you the best possible solution that works for you. The goal of using the following therapies are typically to provide support or increase blood circulation to injuried soft tissue.
- Wearing heel pads to reduce strain on your tendon
- Tendon strengthening exercises/stretching
- Maintain flexible calf muscles
- Manual "hands on" treatmnet - includes acupressure, massage and Shiatsu
- Taping (wrapping special tape around your heel and the back of your leg/foot)
- Shoe inserts/orthotics
- A plaster cast - in certain cases
- Surgery - if all other methods of treating the tendonitis fail. Keep in mind that if you have completely ruptured your tendon, it requires surgery to be corrected.
Preventing Achilles Tendon Injuries!
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Some methods of preventing Achilles tendon injuries include:
- Using a TShellz Wrap on your ankle before exercising, and a Cold Compress or Ice Pack after exercising.
- Increasing exercise intensity slowly - to condition your tendon to higher levels of exertion/stress.
- Stretching your tendon before and after exercise (warm up and cool down).
- Wearing shoes that fit correctly (cushioning under the heel and proper arch height) and support your feet.
- Running on softer, flat terrain is advisable to avoid injuring or re-injuring your Achilles tendon.
Learn More About Achilles Injuries & Treatments
I want to learn more about Achilles Surgery & Post-Surgery Recovery
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