What is Achilles Tendinopathy?
The Achilles tendon forms from the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) and inserts into the heel bone (calcaneus). Its strength is due to the linear arrangement of the tendon fibres and are enclosed in a strong sheath to reduce friction. It often has a slow recovery rate due to its poor blood supply. When the tendon is under increased stress, microscopic tears can form at its attachment in the heel or in its midportion. Achilles tendinopathy is a poorly localised post-inflammatory breakdown of the Achilles tendon and associated structures.
- Over-training / overuse in sports (repetitive microtrauma or trauma from a high force)
- Lack of flexibility (tight calves)
- Muscular imbalance (calf weakness)
- Excessive ‘rolling in’ of the foot
- Improper or non-supportive shoes
Achilles tendinopathy can present as inflammation and pain along the tendon with standing, walking, and sometimes rest. It can have a sudden or gradual onset and is likely to happen with any activity that loads the tendon (for example, hopping, jumping, running). In some cases, there can be swelling of the tendon or a tender nodule (or bump) under the tendon.
- Temporary rest from activity and ice 2-3 times a day for 5-10 mins
- Heel raise inserts in shoes to offload any stress on the tendon
- Decrease or modify repetitive training activities
- Switch to more supportive footwear
- Custom foot orthoses
- Low level laser therapy
- Exercise program involving strengthening and stretching the calf muscles
*The Northern Foot Clinic is a BUPA members first provider offering gap free kids podiatry for selected BUPA members!
Your Next Step Forward should you suffer from foot pain and feet complaints is to see your local podiatrist at our Gawler and Elizabeth clinics.
We’ll put you in the right direction with expert foot care that’ll get you mobile and walking.