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 carring 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 minor Achilles Tendonitis injuries (non-minor = large tears or full ruptures) 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.
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.
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.
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 PT will start you on a program will be tailored for your achilles tendon injury.
Once your pain starts to reduce, a PT 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 PT 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 serioius 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.
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.
An injured Achilles tendon will receive very little blood flow; this occurs because swelling and inflammatory symptoms restrict that blood flow. Couple that with the fact that your Achilles tendon receives very little blood flow to begin with, and you can start to see why this can be a major problem. In most tendonosis cases, however, the tendon is not inflamed - in such cases the use of cold compression is relatively ineffective as there is little or no swelling to be dealt with.
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.
If you are experiencing pain and swelling, 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...
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. If not, here are samples of wraps that might interest you via amazon. (they open in new tab) Please note, we are not condoning specific brands, nor do we make any claim about their efficacy - they are just examples.
Often, too many people over-focus on cold while ignoring the most critical aspect to healing - nourishing injured tissue with a strong blood flow - the body's healing capability is generally dependent on blood flow..
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to injured tissues can be difficult. When the injury is achilles related, the challenges are even greater. Traditional methods require your muscles and tendons 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.
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 achilles injury site without causing further injury? This goal is further complicated by the fact the achilles (and muscles controlling the ankle joint) are involved every physical movement we perform each day if we are on our feet.
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.
The T•Shellz Wraps® modus operandi is to increase blood flow and heat in the targeted treatment area, resulting in relaxation of the vessel walls. The vessels then gently expand, allowing for more nutrient rich blood to reach the damaged tissues. Plus, the enhanced blood flow helps in flushing waste and fluid build-up from the injury site - further enhancing the ability of the body to heal.
With a T•Shellz Wrap® application, more blood begins to flow effectively to tissue within the body - 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 best option we came across in our research to accomplish effective blood flow to soft 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.
The intent 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.
We recommend the use of an Achilles T•Shellz Wrap®:
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 for soft tissue recovery and this is why we recommend the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® for the achilles heel area.
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, induce greater blood flow in the treatment area and temporarily enhance soft tissue flexibility.
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.
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.
The Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® would then be used:
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.
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:
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.
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.
If you suffer from a sprained ligament, pulled muscle, strained tendon, or even bruising - apply Arnica Infusion for quick relief of the pain.
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.
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 therapeutic 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-Shell 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.
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 ankle 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.
Everything in the human body is connected. An Achilles tendon injury can lead to other injuries over time if not treated properly. For example, the foot of your injured leg may start hurting. On-going pain in this area could potentially result in plantar fasciitis.
You may also over-strain your Achilles tendon, knee and/or hip in your opposite, healthy leg because you will automatically put more weight on your non-injured side to cope with everyday activities. When you experience pain on the opposite side of your body, this is something called "over compensation" pain.
Over time you may also change the way that you walk when your Achilles tendon is hurting. If you change the way that you walk, how you get in and out of a car or even the way you climb a flight of stairs you may irritate your lower back. Usually an Achilles tendon injury will happen to your domininent leg (if you are right handed, this would be your right leg). When this happens there is a higher risk that you will over-strain your weaker leg that is compensating for your injury.
On-going injury, chronic conditions and over compensation pain are all reasons why it is important that you remain proactive in your recovery. This is why it's also critical to completely heal your Achilles tendon before returning to activity. If you don't focus on healing your injury quickly and completely you run the risk of interrupting your lifestyle in a major way.
The longer your injury endures, the greater the risk of running into serious overcompensation injuries and a permanent change in gait.
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 just like these have been used successfully by thousands of soft tissue injury sufferers - just like you.
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 Achilles TShellz Wrap:
*Know that every personal soft tissue injury is unique and the TShellz Wrap may not work for everyone. This is why we offer a 60-day money back return on all our TShellz Wrap devices.
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 treatments are typically to provide support or increase blood circulation to injuried soft tissue.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Some methods of preventing Achilles tendon injuries include:
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and TShellz Wrap will provide the results you are looking for.
Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and Circulation Boost.
Call one of our AidMyAchilles Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your injury - toll free 1-866-237-9608
Click HERE to Go To Our Online Store If you have questions, call our office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental US).
Living with pain is never easy and we encourage you to call us with any questions you have related to your achilles injury. We will do our best to help.
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are often many injuries and conditions (some very serious) that could be the cause of your pain.
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