What Is Achilles Tendinopathy?

Does the back of your calf hurt during walking, jumping or running? If it does, you might be suffering from Achilles tendinopathy!

What is an Achilles tendon and tendinopathy?

A tendon connects muscles to bone. The Achilles’ tendon connects the calf and the heel together. It is one of the biggest tendons in the human body. The tendon is responsible to resist large forces and absorb impact during high intensity activities.

Achilles tendinopathy is an overuse injury of the tendon. This is usually caused by repetitive loading and excessive amount of intense activity.

Signs and Symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy:

Morning pain: First step in the morning could be painful as Achilles’ tendon would be on stretch as you walk

Pain reduces as you warm up: A very common nature of tendinopathy is that it warms up as the activity goes on.

Tenderness on the tendon: As you touch the tendon, it could be sore and painful

How can physiotherapy help?

Load management: Physiotherapists will discuss with clients about activity frequency, duration and intensity. Clients are required to understand that active rest is important to allow optimal healing.

Soft tissue release: This will release the tension of the Achilles’ tendons to allow healing by breaking down scar tissues as well as to increase flexibility.

Exercise prescription: Physiotherapists will prescribe appropriate exercises to strengthen and stretch the tendon. Studies suggest eccentric exercises provide the best outcome.

Take home message:

It is important to look after your Achilles tendon. If it is not well managed, the tendon would be less flexible and won’t be as strong. It potentially could lead to Achilles rupture which is a lot more severe.

This information can be used to gain a better understanding of achilles tendinopathy. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

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