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The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Achilles Tendonitis

Causes Of Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis is a term that simply refers to inflammation and microscopic tears of the Achilles tendon. It is an overuse injury that is common amongst joggers and sports that involve jumping like basketball due to the repetitive loading of the Achilles tendon

As a general rule Achilles tendonitis is usually a result of gradual stress rather than a single injury. However, there are factors which will make you more susceptible to the condition. These are the main areas we focus on at Galway Bay Physio and include poor flexibility or stiff ankle joints, weak calf/hip/back muscles, poor foot mechanics and poor footwear. We also give specific advice surrounding the best terrain to train on, how to return to your sport or activity and optimal rest periods all of which are vital to stopping this condition.

Signs And Symptoms

Patients with this condition typically experience pain in the region of the heel and back of the ankle after walking, running (especially uphill or on uneven surfaces) and jumping. As the condition progresses, patients may experience the symptoms during the sport or activity and will affect performance or mean they have to stop. In severe cases, patients may walk with a limp or be unable to weight bear on the affected leg and then tendon can swell.


Firstly, we will assess the body’s movements to determine if there are any contributing factors there. Leg length differences and poor foot biomechanics will be addressed if required. Tight muscles in the legs, hips and lower back as well as the weak Achilles tendon will be treated with a home exercise program and hands-on on therapy. Tendon strengthening involves a very specific type of exercise known as eccentric loading/eccentric strengthening.

Shockwave Therapy

Now available at Galway Bay Physio we use SWT to treat many conditions such as Achilles Tendonitis. During this treatment, special sound waves are passed through your skin to your Achilles tendon to reduce inflammation and heal microscopic tears.

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