Achilles Tendinopathy is a common overuse injury where a person experiences pain over the Achilles tendon which may extend into the back of the heel. The tendon is often tender to touch and may have related thickening. It is a common injury experienced in many sports such as soccer and football.
Research on the pathology of Achilles Tendinopathy shows that tendon overload and repeated strain causes accumulative micro-trauma and degeneration. So under the microscope, the affected fibres of the Achilles tendon are abnormal with a poor healing response. Contributing factors to this condition may include any weakness of the stabilising lower limb muscles or inflexibility or tight muscles which predisposes the ankle joint to reduced stability and poor shock absorption. Abnormal biomechanics of the pelvis, hips and knees may also contribute. This all leads to increased load through the Achilles tendon during activities such as running and jumping.
Treatment of Achilles Tendinopathy includes but is not limited to: specific exercises looking to remodel the collagen fibres of the tendon, strengthening of any weak muscles, particularly the calf muscles and stabilising muscles of the foot and ankle, massage, electrotherapy, dry needling/acupuncture and stretches. The use of heel raises and prescription of orthotics or referral to a podiatrist may also be appropriate as an adjunct treatment for Achilles Tendinopathy.
At our Kidman Park rooms, we have exclusive access to Shock Wave Therapy which has been shown to be extremely beneficial for improving collagen uptake at the damaged tendon. Shock Wave Therapy is an extremely useful treatment modality for Achilles Tendinopathies and treatments can be arranged with any of our friendly reception staff.
Harry Truong, Physiotherapist