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How To Heal Achilles Tendonitis


Achilles tendonitis is a common medical condition characterized by an inflamed Achilles tendon which can be pretty painful. It can be caused by sports injuries, such as excessive running or high-impact physical activities that strain the feet, ankles, and tendons.

This condition can be excruciating and may take weeks or months to heal properly.

As more people become aware of the potential adverse side effects of prescription pain medication or OTC anti-inflammatory drugs for chronic inflammation and pain, many are turning to natural alternatives like CBD for relief from Achilles tendonitis.

This article will guide you through a discussion about Achilles tendonitis, how it happens, and remedies.

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

The medical condition known as Achilles tendonitis is characterized by inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. It often impacts individuals who engage in activities such as running, jumping, pickleball, or rapid changes in direction.

The Achilles tendon is crucial for pushing off the ground, such as walking, running, and jumping. Overuse, intense physical activity, or improper footwear can strain the tendon, leading to microscopic tears and inflammation in the band of tissue. This can result in pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the leg, just above the heel.

Achilles tendonitis can be classified into two main types:

  1. On-insertional Achilles Tendonitis: This type primarily involves the middle portion of the tendon and is often associated with overuse and microtears in the collagen fibers.
  2. Insertional Achilles Tendonitis: This type affects the lower portion of the tendon, where it attaches to the heel bone.  Bone spurs (extra bone growth) may develop at the insertion point, contributing to the condition.

Common causes of Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is primarily caused by repetitive stress and overuse of the Achilles tendon, leading to microtears and inflammation. Several factors can contribute to the development of Achilles tendonitis:

  1. Overuse and Intense Activity Level: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive jumping, running, or sudden changes in direction can strain the Achilles tendon fibers over time. This is common among athletes, particularly runners, basketball players, and dancers.
  2. Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide proper arch support or cushioning can increase the risk of Achilles tendonitis. High heels and shoes with inadequate e shock absorption can place extra stress on the tendon.
  3. Sudden Increase in Activity: A rapid increase in the intensity, duration, or frequency of physical activity can overload the tendon, leading to inflammation and injury.
  4. Tight Calf Muscles: Limited flexibility in the calf muscles can increase tension on the Achilles tendon and make it more susceptible to injury.
  5. Poor Biomechanics: Abnormalities in foot and ankle mechanics, such as overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot) or flat feet, can contribute to uneven stress on the Achilles tendon.
  6. Age: As people age, their tendons become less flexible and more prone to injury.
  7. Obesity: Excess body weight places additional stress on the Achilles tendon during movement, increasing the risk of injury.
  8. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, can increase the likelihood of tendon inflammation.
  9. Medications: Fluoroquinolone antibiotics and certain medications that weaken tendons (e.g., corticosteroids) may contribute to an increased risk of tendonitis.
  10. Genetics: Genetic factors can influence an individual’s susceptibility to tendon injuries and inflammation.

It’s important to note that while Achilles tendonitis is often caused by overuse and repetitive stress, it can also progress to more severe conditions, such as tendinosis (chronic degeneration of the tendon) or even a complete tear (rupture) of the Achilles tendon. Seeking medical attention and practicing preventive measures, such as proper warm-up, stretching, and gradual increases in physical activity, can help reduce the risk of developing Achilles tendonitis.

Treatments for Achilles Tendonitis

Treatment for Achilles tendonitis usually involves a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with:

– Physical therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve the flexibility and strength of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon tissue.
– Orthotic devices or shoe inserts can help distribute the pressure and alleviate strain on the tendon.
– Supportive shoes: Properly fitting shoes with good arch support can help prevent further irritation.
– NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): Over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce pain and inflammation.
– Immobilization: In more severe cases, a brace, cast, or walking boot may be recommended to restrict movement and allow the tendon to heal.

Severe cases of Achilles tendonitis, especially those involving significant tendon rupture or damage, may require more intensive treatments such as corticosteroid injections (cortisone injection) or, in extreme cases, tendon surgery.

It’s important to consult a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment if you suspect you have Achilles tendonitis or are experiencing persistent heel pain.

How To Help Heal Achilles Tendonitis

Healing Achilles tendonitis requires a combination of rest, proper care, and rehabilitation. Here are seven things you can do to help facilitate the healing process:

  1. **Rest and Limit Activity: ** Give your Achilles tendon time to heal by reducing or temporarily avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain. Rest allows the inflamed tendon to recover and reduces the risk of further irritation.
  2. **Ice Therapy:** Apply ice to the affected area for about 15-20 minutes every few hours, especially after activities that cause discomfort. Ice helps reduce inflammation and provides pain relief.
  3. **Stretching and Strengthening Exercises:** Gentle calf stretches, and exercises prescribed by a physical therapist can help improve the flexibility and strength of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Gradually introduce these exercises to avoid overloading the tendon.
  4. **Orthotics or Shoe Inserts:** Consider using orthotic devices or shoe inserts to provide better arch support and cushioning, which can help reduce strain on the Achilles tendon.
  5. **Proper Footwear:** Wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning, especially during physical activities. Avoid high heels and shoes with proper shock absorption.
  6. **Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):** Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Consult a healthcare professional before using these medications for an extended period.
  7. **Physical Therapy: ** Work with a physical therapist to receive personalized treatment, including a tailored exercise program, hands-on techniques, and guidance on proper biomechanics to aid in the healing process.

Remember that the healing timeline for Achilles tendonitis can vary based on the severity of the condition and individual factors. It’s crucial to follow the guidance of a medical professional and adhere to a gradual and structured rehabilitation plan. If your symptoms persist or worsen consult a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation and further treatment options.

How Can CBD Balm Help Tendonitis?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant that has been studied for its potential therapeutic effects, including pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. A topical balm containing CBD may offer several potential benefits for individuals dealing with Achilles tendonitis:

  1. **Localized Pain Relief: ** When applied topically to the affected area, CBD may interact with cannabinoid receptors in the skin and underlying tissues. This interaction could potentially help reduce pain signals, providing localized relief for Achilles tendonitis discomfort.
  2. **Anti-Inflammatory Effects: ** CBD is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a common component of tendonitis, and reducing inflammation can help alleviate pain and promote healing.
  3. **Enhanced Relaxation and Muscle Relief: ** CBD is known for its potential to induce relaxation and reduce muscle tension. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with Achilles tendonitis, as tight or tense calf muscles can contribute to the condition.
  4. **Moisturization and Skin Care: ** Rejuvenating balms often contain moisturizing and soothing ingredients that can help keep the skin around the affected area nourished and hydrated.
  5. **Support for the Endocannabinoid System: ** The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in regulating pain perception and inflammation. CBD may interact with the ECS to h lp restore balance and promote overall well-being.

It’s important to note that while some individuals may experience relief from using CBD-infused products, the effects can vary from person to person. Not all CBD topical products are alike. It is essential to carefully review the product’s ingredients, source, and dosage recommendations to ensure it meets your needs and preferences. If you’re considering using a Nature’s Gem CBD balm for Achilles tendonitis, I recommend the rejuvenating balm for mild symptoms and the max balm for severe cases.

What to Look for When Buying CBD Topicals

According to the publication Leafly, not all CBD products are equal, and the most common problem is not containing the amount of CBD on the label. To ensure integrity and quality, a high-quality product will have third-party lab testing with readily available results.

Nature’s Gem CBD topical balms are available online and in our Longboat Key store. Our topical products contain all-natural ingredients, high-grade, broad-spectrum CBD, and essential oils. 

How To Apply CBD Balm

Applying CBD balm is a straightforward process, similar to using other topical creams or ointments. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly apply CBD balm:

  1. **Clean the Area:** Start by washing the area where you plan to apply the CBD balm. Use mild soap and water to ensure the skin is clean and free from dirt, sweat, or other substances.
  2. **Dry the Skin:** Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel. Make sure the skin is completely dry before applying the CBD balm.
  3. **Scoop Out:** Open the container of CBD balm and use your fingers or some small scooper, and scoop out a small amount. The exact amount you need will depend on the size of the area you’re treating.
  4. **Warm the Balm and bring it back to liquid:** Rub the CBD balm between your palms or fingers to warm it up. This can help the balm spread more efficiently and be absorbed by the skin.
  5. **Apply to the Area:** Gently massage the CBD balm onto the target area in a circular or rubbing motion. Use light to moderate pressure as you spread the balm across the skin.
  6. **Massage:** Spend a few minutes massaging the balm into the skin. This can help improve absorption and enhance the overall effectiveness of the product.
  7. **Allow Absorption:** After applying the balm, allow it to absorb into the skin for a few minutes. Avoid covering the area with clothing or bandages immediately to give the balm time to work.
  8. **Wash Your Hands:** After applying the balm, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any residue. This will prevent unintentional transfer of the balm to other areas of your body, especially sensitive areas like your eyes.
  9. **Repeat as Needed:** You can apply the CBD balm multiple times a day, as directed by the product’s instructions or as recommended by your healthcare provider. Be sure to follow any dosage or usage guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
  10. **Store Properly:** After use, securely close the container and store the CBD balm in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat.

Always follow the specific instructions provided by the CBD balm manufacturer. Additionally, if you are using CBD balm for a particular medical condition, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment. Never apply balm to an open wound or open skin.

Your Achilles Tendonitis Will Heal…In Time

Healing Achilles tendonitis requires a multifaceted approach that combines rest, targeted exercises, proper care, and, in some cases, professional guidance. By implementing strategies such as rest to allow the inflamed tendon to recover, engaging in appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises to improve flexibility and strength, and utilizing supportive footwear and orthotic devices to reduce strain, individuals can significantly contribute to the healing process. Moreover, considering nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) under medical supervision and exploring alternative treatments like CBD-infused balms, which may offer pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits, can complement traditional methods. If you’re looking for a more natural remedy to manage your pain, CBD topicals should be part of your repair tool kit. High-quality CBD topicals can assist the healing process by providing relief from swelling and pain without the risk of adverse side effects.

Overall, a patient and consistent commitment to these measures and consultation with a healthcare professional can pave the way for successful healing and a gradual return to pain-free mobility and daily activities.