Achilles Tendinopathy


What is Achilles tendinopathy?

 

The Achilles tendon is one of the thickest, strongest tendons in the human body. Tendons are thick, fibrous cords of connective tissue that connect muscles to bones, facilitating movement. The function of the Achilles tendon is crucial for knee flexion and ankle plantarflexion, enabling actions such as running, climbing, and jumping. Tendinopathy is a thickening, change or pain within the Achilles tendon which usually develops due to repetitive stress.

 

Achilles tendinopathy may develop if the tendon has been damaged, wither through repetitive microtrauma or one direct injury. This degradation of the tendon with improper rehab can cause progressive damage, which is a result of collagen degradation and scar tissue formation. This can reduce the tendon's flexibility, cause thickening, and create lumps within the scarred areas. Calcifications may also form at the tendon's insertion into the calcaneus and can extend into the tendon in chronic cases. Continued overuse can lead to further severe consequences, such as tendon rupture or tear.

Marta Bueno

Musculoskeletal Podiatrist 

Marta specialises in MSK and gate analysis, laser and verruca treatments...

Click here to read more about Marta 

Millie Brown

Musculoskeletal Podiatrist 

 Millie’s main expertise interests include conservative management of sports related injuries, heel pain, bunions and ingrowing toenails...

Click here to read more about Millie 

 

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Pain in the back of the heel
Swelling around the area
Reduced range of motion
Mild to severe aching pain the day after exercising
Redness or heat around the area
A bony lump at the back of the heel

 

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis

 

Achilles tendonitis typically does not stem from a specific traumatic incident but results from repetitive stress to the tendon. This often occurs when individuals push their bodies too much or too soon. Other contributing factors include:

Leg length discrepancy
Overuse
Rapidly increasing the intensity of activity
Abrupt changes in training surfaces (e.g., from soft to hard)
Inappropriate footwear
Too tight or fatigued muscles
Insufficient stretching before activity
Deviated or unstable rearfoot axis

 

Other factors such as obesity, age, and diabetes can also increase an individual’s risk for developing Achilles tendonitis. Individuals who participate in sports, such as Basketball, Running, and Boxing also face a higher risk of Achilles tendon injuries. This is because the tendon receives a stress load of up to 4 times our body weight while walking, and almost 8 times when running.

 

Treatment for Achilles tendinopathy

At flawless feet we treat everybody as an individual therefore treatment may vary. If you are an avid runner and cant take a break from sport, your treatment plan will be modified to suit your needs and expectations. Treatment may include the following
Low level laser
Shockwave therapy
Customised foot orthotics
Footwear prescription
Sports taping
Exercise prescription
Training plan

 


If you have been diagnosed with, or think you may have Achilles tendinopathy, contact flawless feet today to secure your biomechanics assessment.

Contact us Contact us