You never really think about how often you use your Achilles tendon until it starts to hurt. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, connecting the heel to the calf muscles. When you injure it, you realise how difficult it is to get around without using it. But there are a number of things that can be done to treat a strained Achilles tendon.
Give your foot some time off. Sure, right after the injury, when the tendon hurts so bad you can barely stand up, resting it is easy. But even when it starts to feel better, give it a couple extra days and don't rush it right back in to action. If you've never had a ruptured Achilles tendon, that's a good thing. Rest the tendon and you stand a better chance of keeping it that way.
Apply Ice and Heat
A strain means that the Achilles is inflamed and sore. Icing it will bring down the swelling and also numb the tendon. You can do this for 20 minutes at a time on and off throughout the day. Applying heat at various intervals will also help to loosen the tendon and the surround calf muscles. Using a heating pad or soaking the tendon and lower leg in warm water for 10 minutes at a time will help to increase mobility in the area.
Range of Motion
If you remain off your feet for a couple of days resting your Achilles tendon, it will probably be a little tight and the range of motion won't necessarily be there. By doing some toe and heel lifts and then rotating your foot around in a circle, you can get your range of motion back and do some preliminary stretching of the tendon.
Eccentric exercise is a simple way to work on stretch out the tendon and calf muscles. To do this, you need to find a set of stairs. Standing in front of the stairs facing up, put both feet on the first step so that your heels and mid-foot are hanging in the air. Now, slowly raise yourself up using your calf muscles and your Achilles tendon. Then, lower yourself down so that your heel is below step level. Practice this ten times slowly and repeat it as often during the day as time dictates and your tendon allows. Always remember that when it comes to your Achilles tendon, don't take chances. If it hurts, stay off it.