What is Achilles tendinopathy?
Achilles tendinitis is a condition that gives pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon which attaches your calf muscles to the heel bone. This is often a sign of overuse over a period of time rather than sudden injury.
What causes Achilles tendinopathy?
- Age related wear and tear
- Intense repetitive training or a sudden increased training load
- Improper footwear causing abnormal stress on the tendon
- Foot conditions from birth such as flat feet or high arches may also predispose you to develop the condition.
What are the signs and symptoms?
- Tendon pain usually feels worse in the morning or after periods of rest but eases with movement
- Pain also with prolonged periods of walking or running
- Swelling or a firm lump over the Achilles tendon
- Tightness in the calf and around the heel region
How do I manage this problem?
- Rest from activities that aggravate the pain or reduce the intensity and/or frequency of training.
- Ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication
- Achilles tendon stretches
- Eccentric loading exercises from your physiotherapist
- Graded return to sport
What other treatments are available?
- Achilles tendon pain may last up to 12 months and the prognosis is generally good.
- However if pain persists, or if you have significant and ongoing problems in your day to day activities, specialist opinion may be helpful
- Surgery is rarely indicated for this problem