Very recently, my hockey season has come to a premature end due to Achilles Tendonitis. When someone thinks of hockey injuries, it’s usually concussions, shoulder, and the infamous knee injury.
Achilles Tendonitis is a thickening or inflammation on the tendon. This is the most common form that athletes and hockey players get is the insertional tendonitis which is located down at the heel where the tendon inserts.
Some of the warning signs that you may have it is pain along the tendon in the morning, severe pain in the heel after exercise, severe stiffness that extends from your calf muscle all the down to the heel and a thickening in the tendon along the heel.
For me, I had the added risk due to the fact that my calf muscles are always tight even after I stretch. If you have those symptoms, go see your doctor because if it is left untreated; your Achilles tendon could rupture.
The non-surgical treatments are rest (no hockey), ice, physical therapy, taking an anti-inflammatory like Motrin and cortisone shots. You should also consider orthotics for hockey skates to lift your heel up slightly. This will take the strain off. Also, some Achilles gel pads to put in your skates are a good idea as well because it can reduce irritation on your heel from the skate. If you can avoid surgery by going this route, the recovery time can be about three months.
However, even if you do not rupture the tendon; you still may need surgery if you develop the other complication, bone spurs. Surgery is also recommended if you are still having pain after six months.
I feel this is an injury that if some precautions are taken, your risk may be reduced. You put your body on the line the moment you step on the ice and if I can reduce my risk of one painful injury, all the better.