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The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Achilles Tendinopathy

 

 

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles Tendon can be found just above your heel on the back of your leg. A tendons job is to join your muscles to your bones. The Achilles tendon joins your heel bone to your calf muscles. Its function is to bend the ankle downwards or in other words, go up on your tip-toes. 

 

What is Achilles Tendonopathy? 

Achilles Tendinopathy is a condition that can cause pain, swelling and stiffness of the Achilles tendon. You may often hear these injuries be called tendinitis or tendinosis but these terms are all commonly used to describe the same condition. A tendonopathy can occur with any of the tendons in your body and we know this occurs when the tendon is unable to adapt to the strain or the load being placed upon it. Achilles tendonopathy can be considered a rather common injury and can affect both athletes and non-athletes alike. It is however more common in athletes who partake in sports that require a lot of running and jumping such as Gaelic football, Hurling, soccer, basketball and both short and long-distance running. It affects both men and women, young and old but is more common in men and in people aged 30 or more. 

 

What Causes Achilles Tendonopathy? 

Other things that may put you at a higher risk of developing this condition are

 

How to recognise the signs and symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy. 

Below are some common signs and symptoms that people with Achilles tendinopathy may experience.

What to do about it? 

The first thing you should do if you suspect you may be suffering from Achilles Tendinopathy is visit a Chartered Physiotherapist. We will provide an accurate diagnosis of your condition, an estimated recovery time frame and also, they will create a tailored exercise programme to accelerate rehabilitation timeframes. Time, rest and load management of the tendon are among a few things that will help alleviate symptoms in the early stage. The use of ice and anti-inflammatories are highly recommended.

Your physiotherapist may look at a number of hands-on treatment options depending on your presentation, some of these include

Most importantly your physio will design a specific exercise programme that will be tailored to your needs. This programme will be progressed each time you see your physiotherapist to ensure you are placing optimal load on the tendon. Exercise is seen as the gold standard for treating this condition and combined with some of the techniques above.

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for this condition and it won’t heal overnight, a reduction in morning stiffness/pain is usually one of the first symptoms to relieve. It is also important to note that during your exercise programme you may experience pain, this should reduce as you progress through your rehabilitation. We would recommend that a level of pain not exceed 4/10 when doing the exercises. 

 

Mark Hughes

Chartered Physiotherapist

Galway Bay Physio

 

Should you need help with any aches, pains or injuries you may be experiencing, you can book in online with any of our Chartered Physiotherapists galwaybayphysio.ie

Your Keyword – Achilles Tendon Pain, Achilles Tendonitis, Achilles Tendinopathy

 

CALL US TODAY on 091 569706, email us info@galwaybayphysio.ie or complete the form below.

You can also book your appointment online for Athenry, Oranmore and Galway City Clinics

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If you are unsure of whether or not you are suitable to attend a chartered physiotherapist, feel free to contact us for a free telephone consultation.

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