Achilles Tendinopathy


The achilles tendon joins your calf muscle to your heel bone. During running the calf and
achilles complex does a majority of the work. This means it has to withstand very large amounts of force and as a result, the achilles tendon can be often overused. This can lead to achilles tendinopathy, a common running-related overuse injury which results in the tendon becoming painful and stiff, especially during and after exercise as well as first thing in the morning. This makes it difficult to run, walk or play sport.

There are various causes of achilles tendinopathy, but most commonly it is due to a large
increase in the amount of running or training the person is doing. A Physiotherapist can diagnose achilles tendinopathy, but most importantly work with you to work out why it has happened and devise a specialised rehabilitation plan.

Rehabilitation for achilles tendinopathy will vary depending on the individual circumstances,
however largely there is 2 main stages which can often take >8 weeks to complete.

Stage 1: Calm the tendon down with modalities including:

o  Massage

o  Dry needling

o  Shockwave

o  Modified running/training load

Stage 2: Strengthen the tendon through guided rehabilitation exercises:

o  Lower limb strength training

o  Plyometric training (hopping/jumping)

o  Gradual build-up of running distance/training load

As you progress through your rehab it is important to quantify your improvement with
tools such as force plates, strength measures and hop tests, to ensure that your injured side recovers as close as possible to your uninjured side.

If you or someone you know would like help with an achilles problem, please contact our clinic on 9245 1011.

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