Is Achilles Tendinopathy your Achilles Heel?

Causes of Achilles Tendinopathy/Tendonitis

Achilles tendinopathy or tendonitis is an overuse injury that is very common due to a constant repetitive motion that may occur during work, sport or other activities.  Most tendon injuries are the result of gradual wear and tear due to overuse or ageing.  Anyone who makes the same repetitive motion over and over are more likely to damage a tendon.  A tendon injury can happen unexpectedly or over a long period of time, however you are more likely to have a sudden injury if the tendon has been damaged over time.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy/Tendonitis

Achilles tendinopathy can be best described as a burning pain at the start of an activity, which may decrease during activity, then worsen once you stop.

You may also experience:

  • Loss of strength in the affected area
  • The area may be tender, swollen and inflamed
  • Pain worsening the more you use your Achilles tendon
  • Pain and stiffness during the night and when you wake up in the morning

How your Physiotherapist will Diagnose and Manage your Achilles Tendinopathy

Your trusted Physiotherapist can confirm their diagnosis after a thorough examination factoring in your history and symptoms following their clinical assessments.  Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury we see at Trained Physio & Fitness and is often an injury that will re-occur if a client attempts to rush through their rehab program, which is why it is very important to carry through with your Physiotherapists recommended treatment plan which will include:

Pain Reduction Phase – In the early stages you may need active rest from weight-bearing activities while applying RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to reduce your swelling.

Tendon Loading – New research is showing that exercise to load the tendon can stimulate tendon repair.  Under the supervision and guidance of your trusted physiotherapists they will provide specific exercises and protect your healing tendon via manual therapy, which is comfortable for you.

Restore Muscle Strength – Your calf muscle strength and control will slowly progress from non-weight bearing to partial into full weight bearing and resistance loading.  As a result of your injury you may also require strengthening of the opposite leg.

Returning to Sport – Your Physiotherapist will discuss your training schedule, goals and timeframe with you to figure out the best course of action to enable a safe and injury free return.  The ideal outcome will have you at full training capacity with the added knowledge that a thorough rehabilitation program has minimised your chance of future injury.

Correct Feet Biomechanics – Achilles injuries also occur from bad foot biomechanics (eg: flat feet, incorrect footwear, high heels) Your Physiotherapist may recommend you visit a store such as “Athletes Foot” and have your shoes properly assessed.

How Soon Will I See Results?

There is no exact timeframe for any injury, however your Achilles tendon rehabilitation is determined by many factors, which will be determined during your clinical assessment.  The severity of your tendon injury, your compliance with treatment and the workload that you require will ultimately control how long your injury takes to successfully rehabilitate.   A common issue we find is adherence to a rehabilitation program.  Your progress must be monitored by your Physiotherapist, therefore trying to progress too soon can lead to re-injury and frustration.

Need Some Help?

The best advise is to seek early guidance from your trusted Physiotherapist to avoid damaging your Achilles tendon worse or even rupturing.  Let us help you get back to feeling pain free – Book online or call 9325 7602 Today!