An Achilles tendon injury can be quite painful. Such injuries have come to take on meaning as the scourge of the sportsman's world. Such an injury can take a sports player out of the game for some time, and often times will require surgery to address the problem. However, not every instance of an injury on your Achilles tendon demands surgery. There are those occasions where you may be able to choose from alternative forms of treatment. This brief article will address 5 methods to treat an Achilles tendon injury without recourse to surgery.
Extracorporeal pulse activated treatment, or EPAT, for short, is one of the most advanced ways in which therapists and physicians can treat an Achilles tendon injury without resorting to surgery. An EPAT procedure requires a person licensed to handle an EPAT machine to perform this process. The device is placed against the offending tendon and pulses travel from the machine throughout the patient's body, mainly focused on the Achilles tendon. This increases blood flow and circulation and can allow for the damaged muscle to regenerate with greater ease and less time.
Although sometimes linked with overuse and abuse, steroid injections can be quite helpful as long as administered in a licensed environment with a physician who knows what he or she is doing. Overuse can actually rupture the Achilles tendon when injected locally; however, steroids, when used in moderation and when prescribed, can actually help regenerate tissue that has been injured. It has been especially useful for those with Achilles tendon injuries, as patients find that they are able to resume walking and other normal activities shortly after use.
Platelet Rich Plasma Procedure
Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, procedures are also relatively new phenomena in the world of Achilles tendon injury recovery programs. PRP programs involve removing some of the patient's own blood, via syringe, putting it in a special machines that spins the blood around, making sure that all of the proper hemaglobins are active and then re-injecting blood into a localized area on the Achilles tendon. This process will reinvigorate the process of healing. It will make sure that the healing process occurs quickly and more efficiently than it would of its own accord.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage is generally only recommended if the Achilles tendon is partially torn. A complete rupture will require more invasive methods and, many times, even surgery. However, if the injury is fairly simple and, for the most part, not painful, then a deep tissue massage can serve to alleviate the pain and stretch the muscle, allowing the offending muscle to heal with greater rapidity and more efficiency than it normally would. During a deep tissue massage, a masseuse massages the tissues surrounding the Achilles tendon and the actual muscles that lie under the tendon, allowing for a relaxing way to alleviate pain and rejuvenate the muscle itself.
Physiotherapy is the most common form of treating Achilles tendon injuries out of surgery itself. Again, physiotherapy is another method that can only successfully work if the muscle is only partially damaged. Physiotherapy is not one solitary procedure, but rather is a method that utilizes a series of techniques that will serve to help the patient find him or herself on the way to a speedy recovery. Among the tricks used by a physiotherapist include modifying your sports habits (which may include taking some time off), as well as a series of calf stretches designed to rejuvenate the muscle as well as re-acclimate it to activity.
There are a variety of alternatives to invasive surgery when it comes to Achilles tendon injuries. This brief article has given you a head start on a few methods that may be available to you. As always, it is important to consult your podiatric sports medicine physician before making any decision.