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The most common products for Achilles tendon support are braces, inserts, and wraps. These products are designed to apply constant compression on the Achilles tendon and to relieve the pain and absorb the impact from high-impact movement. If left untreated, damage to the Achilles tendon leads to intense pain in the area, with serious cases resulting in tendon rupture. Achilles tendon support products help prevent major damage by reducing the strain imposed on the tendon.
In most cases, heel pain is an indication that an individual is using the wrong type of footwear. People can find relief simply by changing their shoes. Individuals who regularly engage in strenuous activities, however, will require additional support beyond proper footwear.
One of the most popular forms of Achilles tendon support product is a brace made of lightweight, durable materials like neoprene. The brace will keep the Achilles tendon stretched and cushion it from impact in order to reduce pain and swelling. Support braces are designed to prevent or rehabilitate Achilles tendinitis, a condition that develops from severe wear and tear of the Achilles tendon. In cases of acute Achilles heel tendinitis, sturdier braces are used in conjunction with tape to completely immobilize the heel. Immobilization of the heel prevents any unnecessary stretching or compression on the tendon, significantly reducing the likelihood of additional damage.
Other forms of Achilles tendon support products include orthotic devices, such as heel cups, heel cradles or heel braces. These are commonly seen as soles or shoe inserts, which are designed to cushion the Achilles tendon from the impact of daily use. Although these products generally provide less Achilles tendon support than braces, their ease of use makes them popular choices among patients suffering from heel pain.
Individuals can also use wraps for Achilles tendon support. These are often sold as bandages, tapes, or a combination of both. These products encase the heel and provide mild support and compression to the affected area. This prevents the heel from pointing or flexing, allowing the tendon to heal in its proper position. When applied incorrectly, however, wraps can cut off circulation to the foot and cause significant damage.
Achilles tendon support products also play a significant role in the rehabilitation of severe tendon damage. Physical therapists often advise their patients to wear supports while undergoing treatment. Studies have shown that supplementing therapy with the use of supports significantly reduces the amount of time required for recovery.
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