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R.I.C.E. Is Nice: Treatment For An Achilles Tendon Injury

By Brad Walker
Flexibility Expert
Updated: November 15, 2008
Previously, we took a look at exactly what an Achilles injury is. We had a look at the muscles and tendons that make up the Achilles; what happens when an Achilles injury occurs; and the major causes and risk factors that contribute to Achilles injury.

Today, we're going to outline a detailed strategy for the complete treatment and rehabilitation of Achilles tendonitis. Firstly, we'll look at the importance of the immediate treatment (the first 48 to 72 hours), and then we'll outline the ongoing treatment necessary for a full recovery.

Immediate Treatment

The immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury, such as an Achilles tendon injury, is vital. Proper care and treatment now will go a long way towards a full recovery later.

Without a doubt, the most effective, initial treatment for Achilles tendonitis is the R.I.C.E.R. regime. This involves the application of (R) rest, (I) ice, (C) compression, (E) elevation and obtaining a (R) referral for appropriate medical treatment.
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Using the R.I.C.E.R. regime immediately after the occurrence of an injury significantly reduces recovery time. R.I.C.E.R. forms the first, and perhaps most important stage of injury rehabilitation, providing the early base for the complete recovery of injury.

When an Achilles tendon injury occurs and the tendon has been damaged there is a large amount of uncontrolled bleeding around the injury site. This excessive bleeding causes swelling, which puts pressure on nerve endings and results in increased pain. It is exactly this process of bleeding, swelling and pain that the R.I.C.E.R. regime helps alleviate.


R: (rest) It is important that the Achilles and lower leg be kept as still as possible. This will help to slow down blood flow to the tendon and prevent any further damage.

I: (ice) By far the most important part. The application of ice will have the greatest effect on reducing bleeding, swelling and pain. Apply ice as soon as possible after the injury has occurred.

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