The deal: “Achilles tendinosis is composed of micro-tears along the tendon,” Berkey says. Typically the pain is focused right on the attachment of the tendon to the heel, or up in the lower calf muscle where muscle attaches to the tendon.
First aid: “Ice is your safest remedy,” Berkey says. “Ice two to three times per day for two or three days.” Berkey also suggests that if the pain is in the fleshy part of the lower calf to use a bag of ice that conforms to the area, like a bag of frozen peas. But if the area is localized on the back of the heel, use ice to massage the area for a few minutes at a time, or until the area is numb.
Prevention: Achilles problems are typically the result of tight calves, says Berkey. In addition to stretching out the lower-leg muscles, choose your footwear well. “If you’re walking around day after day in heels, you’re going to pay a price in terms of a shortened tendon,” Berkey says. Choose flatter-soled shoes or aim to stretch throughout the day.