Achilles tendinopathy

Injured Achilles Tendon
Orthotics for Achilles Tendon Injuries
Laser Therapy for Achilles Tendon Injuries
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Achilles tendinopathy (formerly known as Achilles tendonitis) is a common condition that affects the Achilles tendon, which is the thick band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness or weakness in the heel, back of the ankle and lower calf. Typically, symptoms are worse in the morning or after long periods of rest. The pain can be aggravated by physical activity, walking or running.

Causes and risk factors:

Overuse: The primary cause of Achilles tendinopathy is overuse or repetitive stress on the tendon. This often occurs in athletes who engage in activities like running or jumping, or people who spend long periods of time standing, for example retail workers.
Age: As people get older, the Achilles tendon becomes weaker and less flexible, therefore more prone to injury.
Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes that don’t provide adequate support or fit can contribute to Achilles tendon issues.
Training Errors: Increasing the intensity, duration or frequency of an exercise regime too quickly can lead to injury of the tendon. Poor running technique can also be a factor. Training on hard ground or doing lots of hill running also increases the likelihood of Achilles tendon problems.
Tight muscles: Having poor flexibility in the backs of the thighs or calves can increase physical stress on the Achilles tendon, making it more prone to injury.

What can I do to help if I have an Achilles tendon problem?

There are many things you can do to help improve an Achilles tendinopathy. These include:

Reduce the load on your feet by reducing or resting from high-impact exercise such as running or jumping or by reducing the amount of time spent standing.
Ensure you’re wearing proper fitting shoes that have good arch supports, cushioned soles and a slight heel.
Applying ice packs onto the heels can help reduce pain.

Are there any treatments that help plantar fasciitis?

There are various treatments available at Castle Clinic that can help Achilles tendinopathy, including:

Acupuncture – our acupuncturists use acupuncture needles to stimulate circulation to the feet, promote healing, reduce inflammation and pain.

Laser therapy – using this state-of-the-art technology, we can use therapeutic laser to help reduce inflammation, increase circulation and promote healing of the Achilles tendon.

Osteopathy – using joint mobilisation, stretches and massage of the feet and legs, the osteopaths aim to improve the biomechanics of the legs and feet, and improve circulation to promote healing of the injured tendon. The osteopath will also provide advice on when and how to return to any activity that you are unable to participate in.

Physiotherapy – using exercise prescription, the physiotherapist will advise on stretching exercises and progressive strengthening to improve the mobility and resilience of the soft tissues of the legs and feet and encourage healing.

Podiatry – our podiatrist will assess foot health, biomechanics and footwear and use a range of techniques to help the Achilles tendon recover, including using foot joint mobilisations and making custom orthotics.

Shockwave therapy – in persistent cases, this pioneering technology loads the injured Achilles tendon with pressure and sound waves in a controlled manner to regulate inflammation, reduce pain and promote healing.

If you are struggling with calf and heel pain and would like to make an appointment, please visit our booking page or call reception on 01423 797800.