January 19, 2020   8:04pm

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Bruce Talks: Achilles pain?

Achilles was struck on his heel with an arrow and guess what — it hurt! Thus the name Achilles tendonitis — that sharp pain in the long narrow area where the heel of the foot meets the calf muscle. It’s a common injury that most athletes and non-athletes get sooner or later, and if not taken care of, it can cause a great deal of discomfort for weeks, months or even longer. Treatment? Acupuncture — massage therapy — physical therapy are standard treatment modalities. But the most important thing you can do to expedite the healing process is self care. The following are a few things you can do to get rid of the pain:

1. Ice, Ice and more … Ice. Every night for ten minutes, ice the achilles tendon itself and the area of the calf just above the tendon, as well as after any protracted exercise involving the feet — running, walking, skipping rope etc. As a long time marathoner I can tell you that ice is the best anti-inflammatory there is. Athletes can’t live without it, and neither can you if you have this injury.

2. Advil or other ibuprofen. 400 or 600 mil 3x a day for a week unless you are allergic or have stomach problems.

3. Put a 1/4 inch heel pad in the heel of the shoe for your affected foot. This will take the pressure off of your achilles tendon and help reduce inflammation.

4. Self massage. Five minutes in the morning and night. Rub your thumb or fingers on and around the tendon and on the calf muscle itself. It should feel just on the cusp of feeling uncomfortable. This will loosen the entire area.

5. Rest. Gauge how much you exercise to the degree of pain you have. Less is more when you have an injury.

6. Stretching. Stretch the affected calf lightly 3-4 times a day, especially after walking. Do not stretch till it hurts. Be gentle.

Good luck and remember to be patient. You are using your foot all day long but this injury WILL go away with treatment, self care and rest.

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