Achilles Tendonitis (or Achilles Tendinopathy as it’s often now called) is an injury that can occur as the result of the Achilles tendon, which is a band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of your leg to the heel bone, being unable to cope with the load being placed on it or as the result of overuse.
Achilles Tendinitis FAQ’s
What causes is it?
Symptoms may range from a dull ache to extreme pain in the back of the leg or above the heel.
It tends to occur in people from the age of 30 onwards and can often occur as a result of impact based sporting activity such as squash tennis, football and volleyball and is particularly common in runners especially when runners have increased the duration or intensity of their run, but it can equally occur in people with more sedimentary lifestyle, especially if you are diabetic.
What will happen if untreated?
If you ignore your symptoms, this can lead to a series of micro injuries in the tendon which can make it susceptible to rupturing. A ruptured tendon would require more invasive treatments such as surgery and putting the leg into a cast.
What can I do to help?
Most people can recover from Achilles Tendonitis with the modification of activities icing the painful area, stretches, and taking NSAIDs to relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation. If however this doesn’t work you may need to consider other interventions.
What are the treatment options for Achilles Tendinopathy?
Most Achilles Tendinopathies can be resolved with a short course of Osteopathy or Physiotherapy treatments and this is where we recommend that you start. Treatment take 6- 12 weeks especially if the condition is chronic. In certain cases we may recommend the use of Orthotics/insoles, as these can also help to off load the pressure on the Achilles tendon, especially if the injury is acute. If the symptoms persist however, we recommend Shockwave therapy which we can administer in clinic to provide an alternative to surgery in most cases of tendinopathy.