ACHILLES TENDINOPATHY

Achillis Tendinopathy Diagram.jpg

Achilles tendinopathy is an overuse injury of the achilles usually caused by repetitive action or load. The achilles is a strong collagenous structure which attaches the calf muscles to the heel. The achilles tendon is a big contributor in a number of activities such as walking, running and jumping.

Symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Pain, stiffness and loss of strength in the calf/achilles.
  • There may be some pain when undertaking activity. However, it often warms up.
  • You may have more pain and stiffness during the night or when you get up in the morning.
  • The area may be red, hot and swollen.
  • You may notice a clicking sound or grinding sensation when using the tendon.

Initial care - things to try at home:

  • Reduce your exercise load (don’t stop completely).
  • Ice your achilles.
  • Anti-inflammatories.
  • Foam roll your calves for 2-3 minutes a day.
  • Perform isometric heel raises (Stand up on tip toes and hold for 5 sets of 45 seconds, 3 times a day).
  • Check to see that your footwear is not worn out.

Our approach to solving your problem:

  1. Clinical assessment involves palpation of the achilles tendon as well as some other clinical assessments such as a taking a detailed history, active and passive testing.
  2. An extensive rehabilitation program consisting of exercises to build your tendon’s capacity to take more load, be pain free and stronger than when you first came in.
  3. Shockwave therapy to help increase blood flow to the area to enhance healing and depletion of substance P which is responsible for pain.
  4. Taping to help offload and support the tendon during your chosen activity.
  5. If taping is successful, the use of foot orthoses can help keep your feet and achilles feeling fresh at the end of the day rather than tired and fatigued.
  6. Finding the root cause of the problem by undertaking a biomechanical assessment and footwear assessment to assess whether a foot orthotic is indicated or if there are other factors contributing to your pain.
  7. It may be necessary to be referred for scans to rule out more sinister pathologies.

We will then create a management plan specific to you to:

  1. help settle the pain;
  2. identify biomechanical dysfunction;
  3. reduce inflammation;
  4. strengthen the area;
  5. address the causative factors to prevent reocurrence;
  6. get you back to the activities that you enjoy;
  7. keep you active and happy!

If you would like help from one of our Podiatrists to recover from your Achilles Tendinopathy, please give us a call on 9894 2463 or book online to make an appointment.