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Achilles Tendinopathy is commonly known as Achilles Tendonitis. It is a frequent cause of lower Calf pain and heel pain. Achilles Tendinopathy is usually characterised by degeneration of the Achilles Tendon (situated above the heel to form the lower part of the calf muscles), known as Achilles Tendinosis, which can be confirmed following Achilles Tendon surgery. Achilles Tendinosis is a breakdown in the Achilles Tendon, with small, focal lesions within the tendon without an inflammatory response. This degeneration means that the Achilles Tendon does not possess its normal tensile strength and may be liable to rupture with continued sporting activity.
Because Achilles Tendinopathy is not an inflammatory condition, the use of anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) is not appropriate. Ice Packs can relieve pain but the key to recovering from Achilles Tendinopathy is in trying to elicit healing without overloading the tendon.
Published research has suggested that recovery is optimised by using a very gradually progressed strengthening programme for the Achilles tendon and Calf muscles under the supervision of a physiotherapist. These exercises cause the Achilles Tendon to adapt and get stronger. An Achilles Strap can relieve the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis and Shock Absorbing Insoles can also reduce stress on the Achilles Tendon.
Common Achilles Tendinopathy signs & symptoms:
|Consult a sports injury expert|
|Apply ice packs/cold therapy|
|Wear an Achilles strap to relieve symptoms|
|Wear an Aircast AirHeel to relieve heel pain|
|Use a buoyancy aid for pool exercises|
|Maintain a running log to avoid training errors|
|Wear shock absorbing insoles to reduce stress on the Achilles Tendon|