The Achilles Tendon is an important part of the body that connects the heel bone or calcaneus to the calf muscles. Without it, you won’t be able to jump, run, walk, or stand on the balls of your feet. Intense and continuous physical activity such as jumping and running can cause inflammation of the Achilles Tendon. This condition is also called Achilles Tendonitis.
Achilles Tendonitis comes in two forms: insertional and noninsertional. Insertional Achilles Tendonitis impacts the lower part of the tendon where it attaches to the heel bone. Noninsertional Achilles Tendonitis involves fibers in the middle portion of the tendon and tends to be common in younger people who are very active.
Excessive walking and excessive exercising are the common causes of Achilles Tendonitis, especially for athletes. Any repeated activity that puts a strain on your Achilles tendon can cause tendonitis. Some common causes include:
- Wearing high heels for prolonged periods of time
- Playing sports that require quick changes of direction and sudden stops
- Exercising without proper warmup
- Repeated physical activity that strains the calf muscles
- Wearing poorly fitting shoes
- Bone spurs in the back of the heels
- Advanced age
Some of the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis are the following:
- Tight calf muscles
- The skin on the heel is overly warm to the touch
- Swelling and discomfort in the back of the heel
- Limited range of motion when flexing the foot
Today, there are numerous treatments available for Achilles Tendonitis but natural treatments such as massage and Achilles Tendonitis homeopathy is gaining more popularity and acceptance. The public has more awareness of the things they take or apply to their body and many prefer natural remedies instead of drugs.
Arnica montana is a homeopathic remedy that is also known as leopard’s bane. It is a small, flowering mountain plant which is a good remedy for bruises and sprains. It is available as a topical gel that can be applied to the inflamed joint, but it can also be taken in tablet form. When taken at the first sign of injury, it can help speed up the recovery process. As with other homeopathic remedies, it can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies and health food stores.
A healing diet high in Omega 3, anti-inflammatories and collagen is also recommended. Increased collagen in your diet helps add cushion to spaces between joints and bones and repairs damaged connective tissues, thereby reducing pressure and friction. A few samples of food high in Omega 3 are flaxseeds and salmon.
Deep tissue massage for Achilles Tendonitis helps reduce pain, stretches the calf muscles for improved propulsion and helps in the speedy return of the foot’s mobility and normal function. The primary stage is to apply strokes that are deep and direct to the strained tendon. This will cause friction that helps break down and inhibits the progression of adhesion and scar tissue. Manual manipulation of the tissue fibers and tissue surrounding the Achilles tendon improves the flow of blood in the area and speeds up the recovery of the injured tendon. For deep tissue massage to be effective, several sessions are required.