Ankle Pain

What is Achilles tendinopathy?

Achilles tendinitis is a condition that gives pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon which attaches your calf muscles to the heel bone. This is often a sign of overuse over a period of time rather than sudden injury.

What causes Achilles tendinopathy?

  • Age related wear and tear
  • Intense repetitive training or a sudden increased training load
  • Improper footwear causing abnormal stress on the tendon
  • Foot conditions from birth such as flat feet or high arches may also predispose you to develop the condition.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Tendon pain usually feels worse in the morning or after periods of rest but eases with movement
  • Pain also with prolonged periods of walking or running
  • Swelling or a firm lump over the Achilles tendon
  • Tightness in the calf and around the heel region

How do I manage this problem?

  • Rest from activities that aggravate the pain or reduce the intensity and/or frequency of training.
  • Ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Achilles tendon stretches
  • Eccentric loading exercises from your physiotherapist
  • Graded return to sport

 What other treatments are available?

  • Achilles tendon pain may last up to 12 months and the prognosis is generally good.
  • However if pain persists, or if you have significant and ongoing problems in your day to day activities, specialist opinion may be helpful
  • Surgery is rarely indicated for this problem

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