Achilles pain is likely to occur after playing basketball in some individuals. The sport involves hard running, abrupt changes in the foot position and strenuous use of the Achilles tendon.
It is important to note that the Achilles tendon links the heel bone to the calf muscle. It strengthens walking and running steadiness by raising the heel from the ground. Abrupt directional changes and strenuous running can cause small-sized tears in the tendon, resulting to minor swelling and pain.
What are the indications?
Achilles pain is focused on the site directly above the heel to just beneath the calf muscle. The discomfort is often felt several hours after playing basketball especially after resting.
Moving and flexing the ankle oftentimes lessens the pain but the soreness becomes intense while walking or engaging in other activities that requires the use of the Achilles tendon.
Management of Achilles pain
Various modes of treatment are available in managing Achilles pain such as the following:
- Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every hour and avoid using the affected foot
- Immobilization of the ankle using a cast or night splint if the condition worsens.
- Oral pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can lessen the pain and inflammation.
- Surgery might be required for severe injuries involving rupture of the Achilles tendon.
Achilles pain due to sports that involve hard, repetitive running can be avoided by wearing properly-fitting, supporting footwear. Additionally, perform the appropriate foot and ankle strengthening exercises.
Before playing basketball, it is vital to engage in stretching exercises that involve the calf muscles to lower the risk for injury to the tendon.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on Achilles pain is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this tendon injury by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.