How to Treat Achilles Tendinitis in the Wilderness


Tendinitis occurs when the cords that attach muscles to bones become inflamed. Achilles tendinitis is easily treated in the wilderness with a combination of "HI-RICE" (hydration, ibuprofen, rest, ice, compression, elevation).



  1.  Step 1

Drink lots of water. Urine should be clear in color and copious in quantity.

  1.  Step 2

Take 2 ibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours with the onset of symptoms.

  1.  Step 3

Refrain from participating in the activity that precipitated the pain until the swelling has subsided.

  1. Step 4

Apply ice for 20 to 40 minutes every two hours, for 24 to 48 hours. Wrap a plastic bag of ice in a towel before placing it against the skin, or soak the foot in a cooking pot or stream of icy water.

  1. Step 5

Wrap the swollen area in an elastic bandage, ace bandage or athletic tape to limit movement and reduce swelling, allowing the tendons to rest.

Minimize - Stretch and Relieve Boot Pressure

  1. Step 1

Make a heel lift after the achilles has been rested and you are ready to resume backpacking: cut a small piece of foam pad the size of the heel and place it in the heel of the boot.

  1. Step 2

Cut two long, narrow strips of foam pad (about six inches by one inch), and place these on either side of the achilles tendon. This will relieve pressure from the boot.

  1. Step 3

Secure the foam strips in place with athletic tape.

  1. Step 4

Alternate the lacing of the boot to conform with the incline of the hill being hiked: lace loosely when hiking or descending; lace tightly when climbing.


Tips & Warnings

  • This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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