What is it?
Achilles (uh-KILL-eez) Tendinopathy is a common overuse injury that is associated with degeneration of the largest tendon in the human body; the achilles tendon.
The achilles is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is essential for everyday activities such as walking, running and jumping.
Due to the tendon’s crucial role, it is subject to high repetitive stresses and in conjunction with certain risk factors, can eventually begin to degenerate or break-down. This degeneration usually occurs in 2 locations; the insertion of the Achilles tendon onto the heel bone or mid-way through the tendon (back of leg).
Achilles tendinitis can occur in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It’s also common in weekend warriors (people who play sports, such as tennis or basketball, only on the weekends).
What are the symptoms?
- Stabbing or dull pain on the back of the lower leg
- Ache or burn on the heel
- Pain at the commencement of activity
- Pain going up and down stairs or on tip toes
- Tenderness or stiffness when rising (especially in morning)
Why did I get it?
Achilles Tendinopathy can be caused by many factors and is most commonly seen in the active middle aged population. The condition usually affects women more so than men.
Most patients with the condition can often present with many of the following risk factors:
- Tight calf muscles
- Increased weight
- Incorrect footwear
- Biomechanical foot issues
- Sudden increase in physical activity
- Previous trauma to tendon
How is it diagnosed?
Achilles Tendinopathy can be diagnosed through a thorough examination by one of our highly trained Podiatrists. Depending on severity of symptoms, you may be referred for an ultrasound to determine the extent of the degeneration and to make sure there aren’t any tears in the tendon.
How can I treat it?
The quickest path to being pain free is to pay a visit to your Podiatrist for them to help you develop a treatment plan.
Below are some treatment strategies which may be implemented by your Podiatrist:
- Footwear advice
- Moderated rest
- Tendon loading exercises
- Custom orthotics
- Heel raise in shoes
- Foot & ankle mobilisation
- Neuromuscular needling
- Platelet-Rich Plasma PRP injections
Although Achilles Tendinopathy can be painful, there is light at the end of the tunnel because when treated correctly it is a condition that you can recover from quickly and fully so you can get back into achieving those physical and lifestyle goals.
Ready to take back control and permanently resolve your achilles pain?
Book your appointment with one of our podiatrists now!