Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathies are an extremely common complaint. The Achilles tendon is in the calf, connecting the calf muscle to the bone of the heel. The Achilles absorbs huge amounts of pressure and load every day, when walking, taking stairs, jogging or squatting amongst other things. The tendon can sustain microscopic trauma, which causes inflammation and is associated with alterations in blood flow. Normal tendons have very little blood flow, but with a tendinopathy, it shows an increase in blood flow, with small blood vessels growing into the tendon. This weakens the tissue integrity, causing pain, weakness and persistent inflammation.

Achilles tendinopathies in particular have many factors which can affect the healing process. Foot and leg biomechanics and therefore footwear selection heavily influence onset of pain, as well as preferred method of exercise. For example, an aggravating activity may be playing tennis in a pair of lightweight court shoes. Tendinopathies in all areas often develop after a change or increase in the usual exercise routine, or a period of increased exertion. Physiotherapy treatment includes applying electrotherapeutic modalities such as ultrasound, deep tissue massage, strengthening and stretching exercises and correcting poor foot position with orthotic inserts as required.

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Our physiotherapists are experts in the management of musculoskeletal pain, injury and disease.
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