ACHILLES TENDONOPATHY (TENDONITIS)
Your Achilles tendon is the tendon at the back of our lower leg that connects our calf muscles to your heel bone. The function your calf muscles and Achilles tendon allows us to raise or heel off the ground.
Achilles tendonitis is an over use injury where the tendon becomes inflammed due to repetitive use. This repetitive action may cause the tendon to weaken over time. This injury is often seen in runners and those participating in sports that involves jumping.
Common Causes of Achilles Tendonitis:
- Flat feet (over pronation)
- Changes in training – increased distance, intensity or reduction in rest days
- Changes in surface/terrain
- Poor footwear
- Tight calf muscles and hamstring muscles
- Hill training
- Restricted ankle joint movement
Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis:
- Pain and stiffness around the tendon
- Pain on heel raises
- Tenderness and swelling around the Achilles tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
Aims of Physiotherapy intervention:
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Regain full range of movement
- Improve tensile strength of Achilles tendon to prevent re-injury
- Correction of pre-disposing factors to injury including foot biomechanics (orthotic prescription may be required in some instances)
- Improving balance and proprioception
- Return to sport
Important: Early intervention is important to restore normal tendon function, our Physiotherapists can advise you on appropriate tendon management depending on the stage of tendinopathy.