Discover the Power of Massage to Improve Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis can become a problem for many reasons. This is a large and very vulnerable tendon in the body that can become inflamed, strained and even ruptured.

How do you know that you have Achilles tendinitis?

  • Swelling on and around the tendon
  • Skin redness
  • Pain during exercise which gets worse on duration and subsides at rest
  • A creaking that’s felt pressing the fingers in the tendon while your moving the foot at the same time.
  • Stiffness and pain in the area in the morning. It is more of a diffuse pain as compared to be specifically located.
  • Could have lumps or nodules around 2cm above the heel.
  • Tendon pain when walking up an incline such as stairs or a hill.

What causes Achilles tendinitis?
This type of injury is brought on by overuse. It gradually appears and just gets worse. The cause is usually because of tight muscles in the lower leg, mainly the gastrocnemius and soleus. Because of tension,  there might not be enough range of motion during movement and the muscle pulls on the tendon which in turn pulls on the bone. This can cause tearing, strain and inflammation at the tendon.

How can massage assist in resolving an achilles tendinitis condition?
By using a variety of techniques to release tension in tight muscles as well as strengthening any opposing weak muscles, ROM can be restored. This  prevents the tendon from micro-tears at the muscle tendon or tendon bone junctions. As muscles and the tendon can lengthen, the tendon is relieved of the pressure.

With the proper treatment this condition can be improved. But depending on the duration and severity of the problem, it might take time to restore full function.

What does the research say about massage therapy for achilles tendinitis?
A study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that applying techniques of strain counter-strain on the soleus of the affected leg had a 23.1% decrease in stress in the local area.

The same results were produced using this technique with the gastrocnemius muscle. Also, when transverse friction was used on the tendon attachments, healing could effectively occur, speed up recovery and get a person back on track.

It’s very important to find a practitioner that specializes in orthopedic and sports massage techniques that has experience working with this condition for the best results.

What are some things you can do on your own to help in the healing process.

  • The use of ice and heat therapy can become very important.
  • Avoiding or taking precaution walking up stairs and hills
  • Wearing shoes with the proper mid sole support and avoiding walking around barefoot, especially in the morning when the body is cold.
  • Daily stretching of the calf muscles.

With some specific massage techniques and diligent, consistent home care, you can overcome this problem and also prevent a more serious injury from occurring.