How to Reduce Your Achilles Tendon Pain

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How to Reduce Your Achilles Tendon Pain

How to Reduce Your Achilles Tendon Pain

The strongest and thickest tendon in your body, the Achilles tendon serves as the connection between the heel bone and calf muscles. All movement, including walking, running, climbing, and jumping, depends on a healthy Achilles tendon. 

Given the important role the Achilles tendon plays in movement, it’s obvious that tendon pain can impact your day. In many cases, rest and conservative care can get you back on your feet  — literally — without discomfort or pain. 

There are times when you might need medical assistance, and the team at Hudson Valley Foot Associates is ready to help. We’re specialists in diagnosing and treating Achilles tendon problems, so call on us when discomfort and pain interfere with your daily life. 

How to reduce your Achilles tendon pain

Tendonitis and rupture are the most common injuries to the Achilles tendon. If you have a complete or partial rupture of the tendon, you might not recover properly without medical attention. 

Tendonitis, on the other hand, is a common injury involving overuse or strain of the tendon and its muscle partners. Tiny micro injuries may be present, but with rest and care, it’s possible to recover with self-care methods to reduce pain and encourage recovery. 

The RICE method

Muscles and tendons are soft tissues and as such, they’re prone to irritation and inflammation as well as tearing. Tendonitis is an inflammatory condition resulting as a healing response to the micro injuries in these soft tissues. 

Unfortunately, discomfort and pain usually result from this healing response, a signal from your body that something’s wrong and you need downtime. The best way to minimize Achilles tendon pain starts with the RICE method — rest, ice, compression, and elevation. 


Stop performing tasks or activities that cause or increase pain. Achilles tendon pain tells you it’s time to take a break to let your injuries heal before you create more damage. 


Use cold compresses or ice packs in 20-minute increments throughout the day. Cold temperatures cause inflammation to recede, and often your pain symptoms improve as swelling goes down. Don’t use ice directly on your skin; wrap it in a cloth so you don’t damage the skin over your tendon. 


Another inflammation buster, wrapping your heel with an elastic bandage adds support too, while limiting heel motion. Surgical tape is another alternative for wrapping your ankle, heel, and tendon. 


Encourage drainage and circulation through your foot by reclining with your feet above the level of your heart. Normally, blood moving through your legs works against gravity when returning to the heart and lungs. 

Elevating your legs provides an assist for blood flow, lowering inflammation in your Achilles tendon and providing fresh blood supplies to encourage healing. 

Other self-care treatments

As well as following the RICE protocol, there are other steps you can take to keep Achilles tendon pain at bay. 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen both relieve pain and reduce swelling. Avoid walking barefoot during recovery. Instead, choose well-fitting supportive shoes. If your pain is severe, ask us about other medications or drug combinations. 

Splints or walking casts can hold your foot in place as you sleep or walk around. The more inactive “downtime” your foot has, the faster healing can progress. 

If your progress slows or stalls, contact us at Hudson Valley Foot Associates, by phone or online to schedule further care. We’ve got five locations through the Hudson Valley, so book your visit today.