Treating Achilles Pain

The Achilles can become aggravated and inflamed during during long periods of being on your feet or after high intensity physical activity as it experiences forces up to 10 times your body weight. According to Runners World, achilles pain is not always caused by inflammation as it can also be a result of degeneration of collagen fibers. This degeneration of collagen fibers can lead to tightness and chronic pain.

Research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows eccentric calf raises have been proven effective in reducing calf and achilles pain by increasing collagen synthesis in injured athletes [1]. It is a simple, but effective exercise that can easily be done at home without the need of special equipment.

  1. Stand with your toes on the edge of a step. Us your uninjured leg to push yourself up on your toes.
  2. Shift all your body weight onto your injured leg and slowly lower your heel while keeping your knee straight.
  3. Use your good leg to rise up again on your toes. Then bend the knee of your injured leg and slowly lower your heel.
  4. Work up to the three sets of 15 repetitions of this exercise. Then add weight by holding dumbbells or wearing a back pack.

There are many other forms of passive treatment that can be used for treating achilles pain. The following are a few that have been proven to be effective and that you can add to your rehabilitation routine [2]:

  • Purchase heel lifts to off load the Achilles.  If female, wear wedges to help with recovery.
  • Heat ankle wraps to help circulation.
  • Massage your Achilles with ice to prevent poor quality blood vessels from developing.
  • Massage Achilles to break up scar tissue.
  • Night Splints help to maintain a stretch in the Achilles during sleep.


  1. Landberg, H.; Ellingsgaard, H.; Madsen, T.; Jansson, J.; Magnusson, S. P.; Aagaard, P.; Kjær, M., Eccentric rehabilitation exercise increases peritendinous type I collagen synthesis in humans with Achilles tendinosis. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2007, 17 (1), 61-66.
  2. “Achilles Pain.” Runner’s World Feb. 2000: 38-39. Print.