Achilles pain might be an issue faced by individuals who play basketball. It is important to note that basketball involves abrupt changes in the foot position, hard running and excessive use of the Achilles tendon.
The Achilles tendon which links the heel bone to the calf muscle helps in reinforcing stability while walking and running by raising the heel from the ground. Abrupt directional changes and excessive running can cause small-sized tearing in the tendon which results to discomfort and minor swelling.
What are the signs?
The Achilles pain is localized to the area directly above the heel. The disco
mfort is often felt several hours after a basketball session especially after resting. Moving and flexing the joint oftentimes lessens the pain but the tenderness typically intensifies when walking or engaging in other activities that require the Achilles tendon.
Management of Achilles pain
Various treatment options can be used in managing Achilles pain. Initially, you should apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every hour and allow the affected foot to rest.
In case the condition worsens, the doctor might suggest immobilization of the ankle using a cast or night splint. For relief from pain, oral pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be given to lessen the inflammation and pain.
Various injuries involving full rupture of the Achilles tendon necessitate surgery to prevent lameness. A rehabilitation program is needed to restore full strength and range of motion.
Achilles pain due to sports that involve hard, continuous running including basketball can be prevented by wearing properly-fitting, supportive shoes. Ankle and foot strengthening exercises should be performed to prevent the development of Achilles tendonitis.
Before practice or a game, proper stretching should be done that involves the calf muscles to lower the risk for damage to the Achilles tendon.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on Achilles pain is for learning purposes only. Learn more about the causes of the discomfort by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.