Achilles Tendinitis

Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinitis is characterised by inflammation and pain in the achilles tendon.  It is also referred to as Achilles Tendinopathy, which covers both inflammation, and overuse resulting in micro tears.

Achilles Tendinitis is an overuse injury, and can have a sudden, or insidious onset.  In most cases, the tendon will be breaking down with micro-tears before a period of acute inflammation.

Why does it happen?

This can be brought on by a number of factors including:

– Change in activity level
– Over-training
– Abnormal foot/leg biomechanics

Achilles tendinitis usually presents in middle-aged people participating in social sport, but it also common in younger and older populations.

A man running shot from the knees down.

How to Treat Achilles Tendinitis

Initial treatments, aimed at reducing swelling and bleeding, include:

– RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
– Offloading achilles tendon with orthotic/footwear modifications (heel raise)
– Activity modification

Further treatments, aimed at restoring tendon function, include: – Isometric Exercises for pain relief – Eccentric exercises for strength – Range of motion exercises – Proprioceptive training
An illustration showing the anatomy of the Achilles tendon. The tendon is highlighted in red and the rest of the anatomy is blue.

Ideal loading

An important concept to consider is one put forward by Jill cook entitled ‘The continuum model for tendon pathology.’

It outlines how the tendon needs to be under an ideal load to repair effectively.

Early return to activity, and complete offloading are therefore harmful in the recovery of tendon injuries.

If there is ongoing issues despite these initial treatments, you may require custom foot orthotics (insoles made just for your feet from 3D laser scans. See more here)

These are a great conservative treatment that allow us to control the movement of force through the foot and leg.

This allows us to decrease the stress that is placed on the soft tissue surrounding the tender areas, which gives the body a chance to heal.

Other conditions that produce similar symptoms to Achilles Tendinitis include: retrocalcaneal bursitis and posterior impingement syndrome.

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  1. Pingback: Achilles Injury Prevention | Dynamic Podiatry | Brisbane

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