Achilles tendon: use ice in case of inflammation
Do you suffer from Achilles tendinitis? Applying ice may help you heal.
Achilles tendinitis, the inflammation of the largest tendon in the human body, is one of the most serious tendinopathies and must be closely monitored. Achilles tendon pain, in fact, drastically limits the mobility of those suffering from it and must be treated with extreme care.
Do you suffer from Achilles tendinitis? Applying ice may help you heal. We will explain this today on the Dispotech blog supported by an article read on treatmyachilles.com.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body
The Achilles tendon (also called calcaneal tendon) is the largest band of fibrous connective tissue in the leg. Its function is essential for mobility: it connects the calf to the foot and allows us to walk by bending the leg and the foot. Being such a large (15 centimetres, no less!) and strong tendon, it is extremely resistant to stress.
However, the Achilles tendon is not indestructible: blows, accidents or violent tears can cause it to become inflamed or to rupture. In the latter case, surgery is necessary: a torn tendon cannot heal on its own because it has a low blood supply. It must be reconstructed in the operating theatre; at the end of the operation and convalescence, a long period of physiotherapy will lead the patient to regain stability on the leg and to be able to walk once more.
Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, on the other hand, is a less serious and more common condition.
How can it be treated with ice?
Achilles tendon pain: an ice pack will help you treat it
Ice is your ally for a painful Achilles tendon with inflammation - however, with limitations. In the event of tendinopathies and tendinitis, the effect of cold should not be used for too long.
Applying an ice pack or icy gel pack can bring relief to your aching Achilles tendon: the action of cold inhibits the pain as it temporarily “deadens” the nerve endings. Apply your ice pack for no more than ten minutes and repeat the operation several times during the day if necessary. Don’t keep ice on the tendon for too long or you could worsen the situation!
The effect of cold, however, is not the only solution - nor even one that will resolve the issue: the best thing to do is to limit movements and activities that stress the Achilles tendon. It needs to heal with a little bit of rest (first) and a proper reinforcement routine (afterwards).
So, ice, yes, but done properly.
Heat is not indicated for Achilles tendon pain
The benefits of heat are absolutely not indicated for Achilles tendon pain Many people think that an increased blood flow, which the action of heat produces, makes the inflammation heal sooner.
Nothing could be further from the truth: the Achilles tendon naturally receives a low blood supply because it is a tendon. Tendons are able to function perfectly with a low blood supply and at a specific temperature (which should remain constant). Applying heat to the tendon encumbers the body with eliminating excess heat and could damage the injury.
This is why heat should not be used in the event of an Achilles tendinitis.
What do you think about this article? Did you know about the benefits of ice for the Achilles tendon? Write us for information or curious anecdotes: contact Dispotech