Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis  is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, usually resulting from overuse associated with a change in playing surface, footwear or intensity of an activity.

Causes

  • Achilles tendonitis can occur in any sport but is common in sports such as running, jumping, dancing and tennis
  • A sudden increase in activity or increase in intensity
  • Poor running technique, excessive pronation of the foot (sometime referred to as fallen arches or flat footed)
  • Inadequate footwear, poorly fitting footwear or footwear past their best may contribute
  • In cyclists, the problem may be a low saddle, which causes extra dorsiflexion of the ankle when pedalling and leaves tendon on stretch or tightened all the time
  • Certain medications can cause inflammation of tendons

Symptoms:

  • Gradual onset of pain and stiffness over the tendon, which may improve with heat or walking and worsen with strenuous activity
  • May be worse first thing in the morning and warm throughout the day
  • Tenderness of the tendon on palpation
  • Pain on active movement of the ankle joint

Treatment Options:

At David Brown Podiatry we aim to treat the cause of your injury and not just the injury itself. To determine the cause, it is recommended that a biomechanical assessment be conducted to highlight any issues that may be causing your pain. During your biomechanical assessment we will discuss the issues behind why you are in pain, which will include a full history of your symptoms and any changes to your lifestyle that may be contributing to your pain. The joints and muscles of the lower limb will then be assessed to discover what is contributing to the injury. Analysis of your posture and foot pressure will also be conducted. After each assessment, a program will be tailored to suit your needs and in some cases bespoke orthotic insoles may be necessary. We have invested in state of the art equipment to make orthotics insoles. These can made at your assessment for you to walk out wearing them and start your journey to being pain free straight away!

Some suggested treatments:

  • Training modifications
  • Rest and ice therapy
  • Stretching and strengthening certain muscle/tendons in the leg and foot
  • Footwear advice
  • Orthotic insoles
  • Surgery in some extreme cases
  • Kinesiology taping
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods such as whole foods, berries, nuts, fruit and veg

If pain is extremely sore it may not be Achilles tendonitis. More serious Achilles pain could be a tendon rupture. It is rare to have a rupture without suffering any type of Achilles pain prior to the rupture. Ageing is thought to increase the risk of this injury. A simple Thompson test will differentiate between tendonitis and a rupture.

 

 

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