Achilles tendon pain: what can help those affected
Complaints of the Achilles tendon often come slowly, but once they have set in, they can be extremely persistent and lengthy. Triggers can be overloading or incorrect loading. But obesity can also promote achilles tendon pain. Health experts explain what people can do about the symptoms.
A sore point in Greek mythology
The Greek legend hero Achill was only vulnerable on the heel - and this was exactly where an arrow hit him! Even today, this area still hurts many people when the Achilles tendon or the surrounding tissue is irritated or inflamed. Achilles tendon pain does not simply have to be accepted. You can also do something about it.
Pain can have various causes
The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body. With every step it transfers the power from the calf muscles to the foot.
In particular, when the foot is pushed off the ground vigorously, such as when running and jumping, it is exposed to heavy loads.
Achilles tendon pain is common in running, jumping and ball sports, as it is permanently stressful. Many athletes suffer from irritation and inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
But not only too much sporting strain, but also wrong shoes can lead to complaints on the Achilles tendon.
An international team of researchers reported in the “Journal of Experimental Biology” that high-heeled shoes can damage the Achilles tendon.
In addition, shortened calf muscles, overweight and an incorrect position of the feet and legs have an unfavorable effect on the tendon.
Degenerative changes in the area of the foot, such as arthrosis, can also cause Achilles tendon pain.
In addition, the complaints can arise from infectious or metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
Achilles tendon pain is usually treated conservatively physically and with anti-inflammatory drugs. The tendon must be relieved depending on the severity and stage of the inflammation.
Those affected are often advised to exercise to strengthen the Achilles tendon and leg muscles as part of physiotherapy.
In some cases, ultrasound treatments, electrotherapy (TENS), massages of the affected muscle or tendon fibers, shock wave therapy or acupuncture are also useful.
In addition, special medical bandages with a compressive knitted fabric and integrated silicone pad can relieve the Achilles tendon.
These stabilize the ankle, massage the Achilles tendon and promote blood circulation, thus relieving irritation and pain. In the acute phase, heel wedges can also relieve the Achilles tendon.
Orthopedic shoe insoles that correct posture can also help. In addition, pain and swelling can be alleviated by mild cold treatments with cooling compresses.
Sometimes heat - with the help of a heating pad or a hot water bottle - makes sense to promote blood circulation. Massages with anti-inflammatory creams or ointments also support recovery.
However, the treatment should always be coordinated with the doctor in accordance with the exact clinical picture. (ad)