Achilles Tendinopathy

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INJURY TITLE

Achilles Tendinopathy

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

A drop in the quality of the tendon that connects the calf to the heel.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body.  It is made up of tendons from the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.  The injury occurs because the load it experiences (over time or a single event) is greater than it reasonably take.  The tendon is vulnerable to a number things that can bring this on:

Calf weakness, calf tightness, change in activity levels, change in activity surface, change in footwear, poor foot biomechanics.

 

All of these factors can lead to an onset of pain usually felt in the middle of the tendon, but pain can also be felt wear it attaches to the heel.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Onset can be sudden or gradual
  • Pain can also vary from mild to severe
  • Pain on activity eg running
  • Pain on palpation of the tendon

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical examination to rule out all other causes of pain in the area.
  • Ultrasound scanning may be necessary

 

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Research points toward progressive strengthening as the main curative intervention for this condition. The strengthening will aim to challenge the tendon without provoking pain or furthering disability.
  • Stretching of the calf muscles
  • Biomechanical corrections where necessary (orthotic prescription)
  • Graded return to activity

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     

PODIATRY     X

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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