Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury sustained by runners.
Whilst the exact mechanism of injury is still unclear, changes to injured tendon are often seen both on clinical assessment and at a microscopic level. Quite often people affected by Achilles tendinopathy will report a sensation of stiffness in their tendon, tending to suggest that the tendon is less flexible. The tendon will appear thickened and swollen and changes will be seen on ultrasound.
Currently the most common approach to treatment is a 12 week strengthening programme. Other treatment may include, but is not limited to, lower limb biomechanical correction via sporting footwear and foot orthoses and physiotherapy.
What if I have Achilles pain?
If you start experiencing Achilles pain stop running. Consider the use of anti-inflammatories and ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day until the inflammation subsides.
Do not start running again until you can do toe raises without pain. Next, move on to skipping rope, then jumping jacks, and then gradually begin running again.
If injury doesn’t respond to self-treatment in two weeks, see a Physiotherapist.
Try these alternative exercises: Swimming, pool running and bicycling (in low gear). Stay away from weight-bearing exercises.
To prevent the recurrence of Achilles tendinitis talk to your Physiotherapist about how to strengthen and stretch the muscles in your feet calves and shins.