Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis in Kalgoorlie

Achilles tendon stopping you from having a spring in your step? Physio can help. Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury of the posterior ankle region. The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the body. It is located below the calf muscle, and is responsible for connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone of the foot.

It’s main function is to raise the heel when walking and running, and as such undergoes significant strain as it attempts to assist in helping the foot to “toe off” with each step.

Achilles tendinopathy has a number of different presentations. It can come on quickly or develop slowly over time. It is considered an overuse condition of the tendon, where small micro tears in the tendon result in the disruption to the tendon fibres and the growth of neovessels, or irregular new small blood vessels. Increased forces placed through the feet, such as those experienced with running, can increase the development of achilles tendinopathy.

Achilles tendinopathy often occurs following a change in activity level. This may include:

  • Increase in weight bearing activities (e.g. walking, skipping, running)
  • Changes in training (e.g. speed, duration, distance, incline/decline)
  • Changes of footwear, or change of running surface.

It may also occur as a result of your personal mechanics such as:

  • limited muscle flexibility
  • weak calves
  • flat feet
  • feet that roll in excessively
  • genetics

Achilles tendinopathy can vary in severity. For some it is mild and they are able to walk through the pain, while for others the pain can be severe and they may not be able to weight-bear at all. The tendon itself may or may not be swollen, may or may not have a distinct lump, and may either be tender at a specific site, or throughout the tendon.

As a result, it is important that your physiotherapist consider the entire history and presentation of the issue. There are a number of treatment options for achilles tendinopathy, depending on the cause. It could be as simple as a change in training routine. Changes to footwear and orthotic treatment can often settle achilles pain very quickly. Stretching and strengthening programs are often essential to prevent recurrence.