A strained tendon is a common and painful injury. Achilles tendon strains are very typical to runners and cyclists, as well as football, tennis and basketball players.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and used every day for simple activities of daily life. In fact, due to the frequent demands on our Achilles tendons, on average our Achilles tendons function with 20% damage at all times and are constantly going through the tissue repair process.
If you have a strained Achilles tendon, it is very important to make sure it heals properly to decrease the chance of re-injuring the tendon. Re-injury of a strained or stressed tendon occurs more easily than the initial injury. There is usually more inflammation around a re-injured tendon than there was during the first injury. Any tendon strain left untreated can easily become a chronic problem that disrupts your ease of walking and doing any simple activity that you enjoy, something we often take for granted.
A sign of chronic tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis), increased pain in your Achilles tendon with any activity that puts stress on the tendon.
Achilles chronic tendonitis is a degenerative condition in the tendon fibres that attach the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles), to the heel bone (calcaneus) at the back of the subtalar joint (also known as the talocalcaneal joint) in the ankle. Sufferers generally complain of a severe, burning pain in the area, which gradually worsens and is worsen by stress on the joint.
Grades of Tendon Strains
A tendon or muscle can be strained to varying degrees depending on the force that caused the strain and the strength of the tendon or muscle tissue. There are 3 difference grades of tendon strains and the grade is determined by the severity of the tissue damage.
Grade 1 - Mild Strain
A grade 1 strain is the least serious of Achilles tendon strains. With a grade 1 strain there is some stretching or minor tearing of the Achilles tendon tissue. These injuries usually heal quickly if treated properly with cold compression. Once the stretching and tearing has healed, it is important to improve the health of the tendon and restore the elasticity to the Achilles tendon with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy (BFST®) to reduce the risk of restraining it again.
Grade 2 - Moderate Strain
A grade 2 strain occurs when a tendon or muscle is partially torn but still intact. If you have a grade 2 strain, strength in the Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius and soleus muscles is noticeably reduced. Approximately 75% of grade 2 tears occur in sports that involve sprinting or repetitive jumping. This grade of strain can also be effectively treated with conservative treaments such as Freezie Wrap® cold compression, rest, elevation and Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™. It may also be recommended that you wear a brace to immobilize the ankle and allow the Achilles tendon tear to heal.
Grade 3 - Rupture or Severe Strain
When the Achilles tendon is completely torn (ruptured) it is considered a grade 3 tear. The stability of the ankle is greatly reduced and pain is evident. Treatment of a complete Achilles tendon tear requires surgery to rejoin the Achilles tendon to the calcaneus (heel bone) or back together at the point of the tear on the tendon. Cold compression and BFST® can be used prior to surgery to minimize tissue damage and swelling induced pain, resulting in a less invasive surgery. Once your surgery is complete, talk with your surgeon about incorporating our home based conservative treatments - the Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap®, Ankle/Achilles Inferno Wrap® and Knee-Flex® Passive Knee Stretch Device for your post-surgery rehabilitation.
What causes you to strain your Achilles tendon?
A strain in the Achilles tendon is caused by excessive twisting and turning, a sudden traumatic injury, improper training or overuse during a prolonged period of time.
Whether you are a runner/athlete, painting on a ladder, or walking on ice, an unfortunate twist and awkward fall can cause you to strain your Achilles tendon. As well, using your Achilles when it is not warmed up properly (i.e. sprinting or overstretching it before the tissues are warm) can also lead to an acute strain. Repetitive overuse of the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon can cause a strain overtime.
In addition, using these therapies following surgery will help to repair and strengthen the Achilles tendon faster and more completely. With these therapies you will have less scar tissue formation on your Achilles tendon leaving it more elastic and less painful than if it was left to heal on its own.
What are the symptoms of a strain Achilles tendon?
If you have suffered an Achilles tendon strain you may be experiencing the following symptoms:
- Pain in your Achilles tendon when you flex or extend your foot.
- Muscle spasm in the muscles of the calf (gastrocnemius and soleus).
- Pain, tenderness, and a crackling noise may occur when the Achilles tendon is examined by touch (palpated).
- Failure of the foot flexing when squeezing the calf muscles (The Thompson Test).
- Noticeable loss of strength in a grade 2 or 3 Achilles tendon strain.
How Do You Treat Strained Achilles Treatments
What You Can Do!
The trick with any tendon injury is getting it to heal with minimal scar tissue formation and with as much realignment of tendon fibres as possible - something the Inferno Wrap® is great at! Even with optimum healing, there is always less elasticity in a previously injured tendon. This will cause the tendon to hurt, during ANY exercise. However, if you heal your injury efficiently and quickly, your chance of re-injury later on is much lower than average.
Your doctor has given have conservative treatments before even suggesting surgery. It is generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the any already damaged tissue. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring more physical therapy and conservative treatment options post-surgery. If not dealt with properly, your Achilles tenosynovitis injury could end up in worse condition than before the surgery! This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort.
Some conservative treatment methods recommended include:
- Rest - This is important for initial healing is resting your ankle.This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting and elevating your foot whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that put stress on your Achilles tendon until your pain and inflammation settles.
- Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your injury it's also important to avoid all activities that may have caused your tissue damage (especially any repetitive movement). Continuing on with regular activities will not only make your injury worse.
- Apply Effective Cold Compression
Effective Cold Compression = Treatment with a Freezie Wrap® Immediate cold (using a Freezie Wrap®) will help you to manage pain while getting rid of the pain and inflammation. Reducing inflammation can also relieve some of the pressure that's being placed on your tissue(s) and stop your injury from getting worse.
- Use Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ - After any inflammation and/or swelling has been reduced, you can use your own blood flow to maximize healing of damaged tissue and maintain healthy blood flow to your tissue. This also boost overall long-term healing of this injury.
Step 1 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with a Freezie Wrap®
The 1st step for conservative treatment of your injury when treating conservatively or even after surgery is to reduce swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required for your body to heal naturally after surgery. This is why doctors and surgeons recommend cold compression therapy within the first 72 hours of an injury and following surgery.
Cold compression therapy is recommended to reduce pain, swelling and tissue damage. Many doctors, surgeons and physical therapists consider cold compression therapy to be the gold standard for treatment of inflammation and pain. On-going cold compression treatments can reduce, or even eliminate, the need for NSAIDs or other medications that can be harmful to your body.
Cold compression therapy is known and trusted by most medical professionals. This is why for years doctors, trainers and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, after any re-injury, and especially after surgery.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and inferior gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries with effective cold compression, so ice and blue gel packs (full of antifreeze and chemicals) have been the only choice up until now.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, and numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late. You can also get rid of those cold packs that warm up soon after you pull them out of the freezer and gel that pools around your injury putting the short-term cold everywhere except for where you need it most - on your injury!
The Freezie Wrap® is the cold compression tool you need for your post-surgical recovery to treat yourself in an effective and convenient way.
When used on any soft tissue injury, our Freezie Wraps® provide:
- The highest-level of cold compression to quickly decrease pain, swelling, inflammation and draw the heat out of your injury.
- A tailored wrap that conforms perfectly around your injury site.
- Effective cold compression that's unlike any other cold compression wrap out there.
- Cold temperatures that stay right over your injury for the entire length of your treatment.
- A home-based solution with consistent (daily) cold treatments that reduces swelling fast, decreases tissue damage after injury or surgery, and opens up the vessels in and around your injury to receive the blood flow circulation needed to heal quickly and naturally.
- Heavier, more substantial gel packs containing a special formulation of gel - called RigiGel®.
RigiGel® is our trademarked name for a unique gel formula that's made out of food-grade, non-toxic material which holds the cold for an extended period of time. This specially formulated gel also features non-migrating gel technology that makes our Freezie Wrap® truly different from any other wrap available on the market.
RigiGel® is a patented formula that gives you:
- More cooling power per pound of gel than standard cold compression wraps.
- More gel than other wraps, meaning every time you put one on it will keep your injury cold for a longer period; pain relief is enhanced and swelling is better controlled.
Our special RigiGel® packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. This method of cooling means our gel packs aren't icy-cold, just perfectly cold enough to give you the most effective cold compression available.
The cushioned gel will wrap around your injury and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your injury or have to hold a hard block of ice on your injury!
Effective Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tissue, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your injury as soon as possible, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, directly after a re-injury or surgery. Applying a Freezie Wrap® right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
The Freezie Wrap® = Effective Cold Compression Therapy
It'll seem weird for you to read this, but there are a LOT of people out there that don't understand how fast cold compression with Freezie Wrap® can get the swelling / inflammation in your injury under control! After you get rid of the swelling for good you can start actually dealing with your injury and the healing needed.
Use a Cold Compression Freezie Wrap®:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling around your injured area to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your injury is making your injury feel tender, painful or you're having a flare-up of an old injury.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your tissue.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
There are a lot of people that think their injury is gone after their swelling and inflammation are gone and their injury feels better. They also make the mistake of returning to regular activities too soon without proper time for healing. The truth is that healing takes time and after the swelling is gone your injury isn't even close to being fully healed.
After the inflammation in and around your tissue has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue in and around your injury is recommended. Believe it or not, the best time for you to focus on avoiding re-injury and strengthening the weakened tissue is when the swelling's gone and your tissue has started to heal. It's vital that you don't go back to activities too soon because you might bring on a major setback in your recovery...
- Have you recently re-injured yourself by returning to your normal daily activities too quickly?
- How many times in the past have you aggravated yourself just trying to perform basic tasks around your house?
- Is your injury preventing you from work or activities you love to do?
If this sounds like you - You're not alone...
Most people we deal with tell us these scenarios have happened to them many times in the past. The real challenge is how to promote blood flow to your injury site without causing further damage. This goal is even more complicated by the fact that you have to use your injury site for almost everything in everyday life.
What can you do to actually start healing yourself?
The answer is simple. Your body can heal itself and it's the blood in your body that makes it all happen. Your blood is how everything that's good inside of you is transported directly to your injured tissue. Your blood carries oxygen, nutrients, water and antibodies right to the source of your injury and pain. Bringing proper blood flow to your injured tissue is essential for healing.
Promoting blood flow around injured tissue to help the body heal itself is a concept that's been used for centuries. Oxygen and nutrients, carried in your own blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, recovering from your injury will be delayed... Sometimes for a very long period of time.
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to your tissue can be difficult, when an injury occurs. Traditional methods require you to move your sore/stiff injury site in order to promote blood flow. This same motion that promotes blood flow can also make your pain and injury much worse. Relying on movement alone to increase blood flow puts you in danger of re-injuring yourself.
So what do you do when you need to increase blood flow, but you can't move your without re-injuring your tissue?
This is where the Inferno Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) come in!
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®), will help with your recovery and heal your tissue more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your tissue, improving elasticity and speeding the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ to your damaged tissue is greatly needed to complete your healing and avoid re-injury once and for all.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of a Inferno Wrap®.
The Inferno Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming / heating tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach your damaged tendon on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and it may even burn you.
The best source of heat treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue BFST® works too!
You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the heat isn't treating your skin, it's treating your tissue, increasing the blood flow right where your injury is!
- When treating any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while your injury site is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- The Inferno Wrap® is the most highly effective blood flow stimulation device that you'll find on the market that is approved by the FDA for use in the home or hospital.
Regular treatments with a Inferno Wrap® can reduce pain and stiffness from scar tissue and increase overall flexibility in your tissue. Increased blood flow will whisk away damaged tissue, toxins, and any bacteria in or around your injured tissue to promote more effective healing. Getting rid of toxins will allow all of the positive healing processes to start in your injury. Increasing blood flow will also increase the amount of oxygen that's being sent to your injured tissue AND boost your tissue's ability to absorb oxygen. (reference: 1)
How Does the Inferno Wrap® Promote BFST®?
Every Inferno Wrap® contains a patented Energy Web® that's flexible and shaped to conform around your injury site. The Energy Web® provides a uniform wave of healing electromagnetic energy over the entire treatment area. This energy travels deep inside your soft tissue to stimulate blood flow on the deep tissue level where it's needed to heal your injury. It's the electromagnetic energy provided provided by our Inferno Wraps® that's crucial to the healing process.
Electromagnetic energy is the only way to get your blood flow moving on a deep tissue level for these reasons:
- Electromagnetic energy waves are not heat waves.
- When emitted from the Inferno Wrap®, electromagnetic energy waves penetrate right through your skin and fat layers until they get to your damaged tissue.
- Once these energy waves reach your injured tissue(s), they're absorbed and quickly converted into heat energy right at the location of your injury.
- The idea of electromagnetic energy waves is slowly catching on in North American, but the truth is, it's a technology that's been used for decades.
Many people just don't know that over the past 30 years, researchers in Japan and China have completed extensive studies on the usoe of electromagnetic energy for healing and their findings have been impressive. Success has been reported in studies from countries like Sweden and Germany. Research is continuing and soon, much of North American will know what the Far East and Europe has known for a long time...
Electromagnetic energy provides a wide range of health benefits for many other soft tissue injuries.
Regular treatment with the electromagnetic energy in our Inferno Wraps® will ensure:
- Your pain will be reduced.
- Your injured tissue will heal at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury.
- Your knee will have a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue in your joint and around your meniscus. (Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. (amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
Electromagnetic Energy = Increased Blood Flow = More Oxygen, More Nutrients and Less Toxins = Faster Healing
Our Inferno Wraps® are uniquely patented designs that are better than other alternatives out there for more than just the electromagnetic energy they provide! Our wraps are made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it is to us. Other products that are sold in stores are considered "consumer goods" meaning the material only needs to be as good as a sweater that you wear. Clothing articles like this don't need to meet high standards of production or materials and may include materials that irritate your skin.
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - biocompatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product to increase blood flow circulation.
Our manufacturer has spent years perfecting the wrap design to make sure you get the treatment you deserve!
Use A BFST® Inferno Wrap®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up your injury site to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery, during rehabilitation, to warm up before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel your tissue has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue in and around your injury site.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your tissue to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.
Learn More About These SUPERIOR Achilles Treatments
I want to learn more about The Cold Compression Freezie Wrap®
I want to learn more about A BFST® Inferno Wrap®
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your Achilles tendon until your pain and inflammation settle. With these easy therapies you will notice incredible improvement in your tendon. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Learn More About These SUPERIOR Stained Achilles Treatments
I want to learn more about the cold compression Freezie Wrap® device.
I want to learn more about the Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ device.
Remember: Always consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.