Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendonitis or tendinopathy refers to inflammation of the Achilles tendon, usually resulting from overuse associated with a change in playing surface, footwear, or intensity of an activity. The Achilles tendon is an extension of the calf muscle and inserts into the back of the heel bone. If you fit into any of the following criteria you may be exposed to greater risk of developing Achilles tendon issues:

  • Increase in training load
  • Change of training surface
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Poor footwear
  • Previous injury
  • Family history

When the Achilles tendon becomes overloaded micro-tears and degeneration begin to occur causing pain and reduction in performance. Typically, pain will be worst in the morning when you first get out of bed. After a few steps it usually improves however as you become more active during the day pain can return. Thickening of the Achilles is also a common secondary effect of having Achilles tendinopathy.

Treatment usually begins with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and strengthening exercises. Heel raises, shockwave therapy and orthotic therapy can also help with achieving a better outcome and prevention of the injury occurring again. As strength and flexibility increases and pain decreases, running and other explosive exercises will slowly be reintroduced until you are able to function at minimal at your previous level before the injury occurred.

Achilles tendinopathy typically takes approximately 6 weeks to heal however it can be longer or shorter than this depending on the extent of the injury, daily activities and the duration of the injury.

The Pro Podiatry team specialise in this area of treatment so if you have any of the above symptoms, please contact any of our Pro Health Care centres or book online at

Pro Podiatry SA, Jake Pitt, Podiatrist

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