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Achilles tendon rupture
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Achilles tendon rupture  

From MayoClinic.com

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FITNESS & NUTRITION

Bones/Joints/Muscles

Self-care

To treat Achilles tendinitis or bursitis at home, remember the acronym P.R.I.C.E. — protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment can help speed your recovery and help prevent further injuries when Achilles tendon problems resurface. The elements of P.R.I.C.E. involve the following:

  • Protection. Immobilize the tendon to encourage healing and to protect it from further injury. You may need to use elastic wraps, slings, splints, crutches or canes.

  • Rest. Avoid activities that increase the pain or swelling. Rest is essential to allow tissue to heal. But rest doesn't mean complete bed rest. You can participate in low-impact activities and exercises that don't stress the injured tissue.

  • Ice. To decrease pain, muscle spasm and swelling, apply ice to the injured area. Ice packs, ice massage or slush baths all can help.

  • Compression. Because swelling can result in loss of motion in an injured tendon, compress the area until the swelling has subsided. Wraps or compressive (Ace) elastic bandages are best.

  • Elevation. To reduce swelling, raise the affected leg above the level of your heart. It's especially important to use this position at night.

Although rest is a key element in treating tendinitis and bursitis, prolonged inactivity can cause stiffness in your joints. After a few days of completely resting the injured area, begin gently moving your ankle through its full range of motion four times a day to maintain joint flexibility.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can help reduce the discomfort associated with tendinitis. But be sure to consult your doctor if you need NSAIDs for an extended time, because some should be used only for short periods to avoid complications. The benefits of using these drugs long term are also questionable. If you use them frequently or take more than the recommended dose, NSAIDs can cause nausea, stomach pain, stomach bleeding or ulcers. In rare cases, prolonged use can disrupt normal kidney function. The risk of these conditions increases with your age. Individuals with liver problems should consult their physician before using products containing acetaminophen.

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Last Modified : 05/14/08 07:31 AM