Achilles tendon pain is pretty common, but it can be pretty debilitating, too. This pain can keep you from running, jumping, and playing your favorite sports. Whether you are a competitive athlete or a recreational jogger, Achilles pain is not something to ignore. There are four main treatment strategies your doctor may recommend for you.


This is the first stage of treatment for almost any tendon or ligament injury. It stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation. Basically, you will take some time off from physical activity that stresses your Achilles. You'll apply ice regularly, and your doctor will show you how to apply a compression bandage to alleviate inflammation. You will also elevate your leg for a certain period of time each day to further help reduce swelling. 

Physical Therapy

Depending on the severity of your Achilles pain and injury, your doctor may recommend trying RICE alone for a few weeks, or they might push you right into physical therapy alongside RICE. A physical therapist will show you exercises designed to help strengthen your calf, stretch your Achilles, and alleviate your pain longer-term. You may need to attend anywhere from 1 - 3 months, and you'll be given exercises to do at home, too.

Cortisone Injections

If your doctor finds that your Achilles tendon has a minor tear, and is not just sore, then they may recommend cortisone injections to help you heal. Cortisone is a steroid. It helps alleviate inflammation and pain, so your body can repair damaged tissues. The injection itself will hurt, but it will only take a minute or two. Your doctor will monitor your healing progress after the shot, usually by conducting ultrasounds. Depending on how you progress, you may need an additional shot or two in a couple more months.


If your Achilles is badly torn, or if your tear is not healing with cortisone injections alone, you may need to undergo surgery. This is usually done arthroscopically these days, which means the surgery is performed through a couple of small incisions. The tendon will be sewn back together. You will still need to take it easy and attend physical therapy for a few months, but eventually, you should be able to return to your pre-surgery activity levels. To learn more about the different types of treatment for Achilles pain and injuries, reach out to a company such as Arizona Institute of Motion.