Achilles tendonitis can be so bad that you wake up in the morning and not be able to walk, or it can just be an annoying niggle low down in your calf. Many weekend warrior and recreational sports-people get trouble in their Achilles but it can happen to those that are less sporty too. Sometimes it is a quick fix of calf muscle loosening and then some stretching homework to work into your regime.
On other occasions you could have a weakened achilles tendon that requires some dedicated rehabilitation exercises and advice. These exercises can be really simple and were very effective for me when I had achilles tendonitis!
The achilles tendon is the attachment rope that joins your calf muscles (both soleus & gastrocnemius) to your heel bone. It is an extremely strong tendon and been known to feel like someone whacked you in the back of the leg when they rupture (full break). But we are not even talking about rupture here, tendonitis is completely different.
The achilles tendon is actually the largest tendon in the body is aids the heel being drawn off the floor by lifting the heel.
Achilles tendinopathy severity has a grading system.
First we need to evaluate what category of severity your case is to then form an appropriate treatment plan. Our work also includes working out why your pain developed in the first place. Not only will we physically treat the cause of the pain with our manual therapy skills and often therapeutic ultrasound, we also workl on exercises to reduce recurrence and build strength back into the tendon to make it less vulnerable in future.
It is important to work out why your achilles tendon is feeling and experiencing such great amounts of load. Why is it being put under so much strain. What is not moving in your body that is requiring your achilles tendon to do so much work. This is our job, to figure these questions out.
Rehabilitation exercises to safely load the tendon were extremely effective for my achilles tendonitis and in fact after all the rest, icing, heat, medication, eccentric re-loading (as it’s called) was the only thing that actually took the pain away for good.
It is also important to look at the angle your achilles is sitting in, by looking closely at the position of your heel bone when standing. Does it roll in or out? Does your foot arch stand in neutral or are there some strain patterns through the foot. These are what we will look for in your consultation to piece together your case.
7-16 year olds with heel pain may be caused by a self-limiting, painful but non-serious problem called Sever’s Disease. We also treat this condition and give you management advice to reduce the symptoms. Check out our blog on Sever’s.
If you are having issues with your achilles tendon, we would love to work it out with you.