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How Physiotherapy Can Help Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

The Achilles tendon is located behind the ankle joint and connects the heel bones to the calf muscles.  It is the longest tendon in the body, and injury to the Achilles tendon is very common, particularly in runners.

Achilles tendonitis, literally meaning inflammation of the Achilles tendon, results in pain and sometimes swelling focused at the back of the heel.  This often leads to extremely tight calf muscles, and pain upon walking.

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis:

Achilles tendonitis can be caused by over-use or persistent strain.  In extreme cases of strain, the tendon may even rupture. The most common causes of Achilles tendonitis include over-pronation and excessive exercise or walking.

This can occur when exercising without an effective warm-up, playing sports which involve quick stops or sudden changes of direction (such as basketball), wearing high heels for prolonged periods, a sudden significant increase in physical activity without a graduated approach to training, wearing poorly fitting shoes, having bone spurs on the back of your heels, or just getting older as the Achilles tendon weakens with age!

The main symptom of Achilles tendonitis is pain or swelling on the back of the heel when walking or running.  You may also experience tight calf muscles, limited range of motion when the foot is flexed, and the skin on the heel may also be warm to touch.

Treatment:

The two main aims when treating Achilles tendonitis are to reduce the strain upon the tendon, and to reduce inflammation. To reduce strain, activities which aggravate the condition will need to be limited or avoided for a period of time. Orthotics may also assist in reducing pressure on the tendon.

Inflammation may be addressed by taking anti-inflammatory medications, applying ice packs (for 20 minutes per hour during the acute stages of injury), and in more severe cases, minimising movement of the foot and ankle via the use of a restrictive cast or boot for a period of approximately 8 weeks.

NORTHERN DISTRICTS PHYSIOTHERAPY & SPORTS CLINIC IS HERE TO HELP…

If you are an athlete or highly involved in activity, then you can trust one of our experienced sports physiotherapists at NDPE to have a detailed knowledge of all Achilles Tendonitis injuries and the effective treatments! Our team can help you to get back to your sport quickly by reducing pain and improving function!

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West Ryde NSW 2114

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Email admin@ndpe.com.au