What is Achilles tendon pain?
The Achilles Tendon can be found at the back of the heel and is made up of the two calf muscles – the gastrocnemius and soleus.
Pain in the heel region is referred to as Achilles Tendinitis (acute inflammation of the tendon) or in chronic cases,Achilles tendinosis. Both refer to a disorder in the Achilles Tendon. If a tendinosis is not treated early on, the tendon can begin to degenerate and snap in worst case scenarios.
- Over training or unaccustomed use of the calf complex – “Too much too soon”
- Flat feet – collapsed arch
- High foot arch
- Changes in training surface – road running / grass running
- Poor support in footwear
- Tight calf muscles
- Toe running during sprinting
- Long term use of high heels
- Poor balance
- Poor strength and coordination of the hip, knee, ankle
Pain initially during the start of an activity that may diminish once the area is warm
- Stiffness of the ankle in the night time / early morning
- The area may be swollen, red, tender if inflammation is present
- The Achilles tendon may be thickened
- Reduced strength and pain with activation of the calf
- Pain management
- Soft tissue release of the calf
- Calf stretches
- Heat packs
- Strapping or use of a heel raise to offload the Achilles
- Reduce training load
- Education on activity modification
- Orthotics if appropriate
- Specific tendon loading exercises appropriate for you
- Ultrasound of the region may be requested for optimal outcomes
- Sports specific training
- Education to prevent recurrence
What results should you expect?
Your physiotherapist will give you a better idea of where you are in the tendinosis cycle and tailor your treatment appropriately. You can generally expect recovery within 6-12 weeks of commencing your exercises. Come in and see us today so we can sort you out!