Achilles Tendonitis is a common problem also known as a ‘Tendinopathy’ and is often due to overuse.
There is a difference between a ‘Tendonitis’ and a ‘Tendinopathy.’An inflammation of the tendon is a true Tendonitis and a degeneration is known as a Tendonosis.
The Achilles tendon, is a continuation of the three calf muscles, which insert into the calcaneum, or heel bone. The condition can be associated with ageing, when the tendon is not as stretchy as when it is younger and is then more prone to injury. The Tendinopathy, comes on gradually and is more common in persons over the age of 40.
Signs and Symptoms are ;
- Increased Pain with activity
- Tenderness to touch
- Possible Thickening in comparison to the other side
- Protection ( Heel Raise)
- Strapping /Taping.
- Rest – sometimes up to 12 weeks.
- Non – Low impact work.
- Gentle and Progressive Exercise Therapy, incorporating ‘eccentric muscle work”
- Soft tissue mobilisation as appropriate.
- Examination of the foot mechanics, which may be causing an altered load on the tendon.
- Sclerosant Therapy, by a Musculoskeletal Physician. (This is done under image guidance)
- Surgery, as a last resort, following which a very structured programme of rehabilitation is essential.