How To Perform Achilles Tendon Massage Therapy: All You Need To Know
Humans have used massage techniques for centuries. Athletes, in particular, know how far massage can go especially when it comes to relieving muscle pain or stiffness.
While some massage techniques require the talent of a professional, most can be done at home. If you have an injury involving the Achilles tendon, Achilles tendon massage therapy can be used to speed up recovery.
Before we go into how to perform this massage, let’s first clarify what injuries can be treated with this technique.
If you have performed the Achilles Tendon Rupture test and have a positive result, you will be faced with two options: surgical or non-surgical treatment.
After this, weight-bearing exercises may begin. It will also take up to 6 weeks before you can try and perform massage therapy.
According to studies, a non-surgical approach takes longer than the surgical approach.
In both cases, Achilles tendon strength exercises such as the heel cord stretch are performed for faster recovery.
Achilles Tendinitis is considered to be an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon and is very common in runners. Factors that contribute to the condition include the sudden increase in intensity or duration.
Insertional Achilles Tendinitis is another related condition that affects many athletes. It occurs when the fibers of the Achilles tendon located at the place where it inserts to the heel bone start to degenerate. (4)
In both conditions, massage therapy may be used to alleviate symptoms and speed recovery.
4 Achilles Tendon Massage Techniques
Before we start the breakdown of how these techniques are performed, please remember that you first need to consult a professional about your condition.
These four massage techniques can be used to help break down scar tissue as in the case of post-surgical Achilles tendon rupture and Achilles tendinitis. They can also stimulate blood flow and stretch the calf which promotes healing.
Before starting to massage, warm up the muscles by gently applying oil around the calf area up to the knee and down to the ankle. This ensures that the muscles are warmed up and ready for the message.
1. Transverse Friction Massage
2. Achilles Tendon Stripping Massage
3. Cross Friction Massage
4. Circular Friction Massage
Light massage techniques may be safely performed daily but deeper techniques should be performed every other day to allow for recovery.
Always assess the results of the massage technique used and if pain or swelling increases, discontinue.
It may also be helpful to apply ice therapy for 10 minutes after treatment
Clearly, massage therapy is an effective way to speed up recovery especially if it has been recommended by your physician. While you are recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, make sure you use the best shoes for Achilles Tendinitis to prevent further injury.
Also, continue to strengthen your Achilles tendon with different stretching techniques.