Achilles Tendonitis What is it and how do I treat it?
The London Marathon is only 6 weeks away which means training is intensifying and injuries are increasing. One of the most common areas of injury is the Achilles tendon. According to Brukner and Khan, runners have a 15 times greater risk of Achilles tendon rupture and 30 times greater risk of tendinopathy than people who are sedentary.
The Achilles tendon is the biggest and strongest tendon in the entire body and connects the gastrocsnemius and soleus muscles to the calcaneus (heel bone). The repetitive nature of running can result in an overuse of the Achilles – resulting in damage to this tendon.
Injuries to the Achilles include:-
Achilles tendon tears
Midportion Achilles tendinopathy
Insertional Achilles tendinopathy (including retrocalcaneal bursitis and Haglund’s deformity)
Sever’s (in adolescents)
Proper diagnosis is key as management for each pathology is different. Diagnosis can be done by a Physiotherapist with thorough history taking and physical examination. Diagnosis can be confirmed by Ultrasound imaging, something our Consultant Radiologist, Dr Rob Katz, can do without the need for referral.
Treatment, as mentioned, differs between each of the different pathologies. But it may consist of:
Soft tissue release aiming to improve length through tight musculature. This may be done with massage, trigger point release and dry needling.
Prescription of exercises aiming to repair the tendon and improve biomechanics in the ankle and adjacent joints
Prescription of stretches aiming to improve flexibility of the muscle
Taping/heel wedge prescription
Tendinopathies require intervention to repair, simply resting does not adequately heal the pathology. So if you have been experiencing pain in the Achilles region, don’t wait, seek the necessary help so you can get back into training as soon as possible. Have a look at our Marathon package, a discounted bundle made up of Physiotherapy, Sports Massage, Chiropractic and Strength & Conditioning. This can not only get you injury free, but performing to a higher level.
In the meantime, check out the video from The Prehab Guys showing some exercises for midportion Achilles tendinopathy. Keep in mind exercises vary from individual to individual and we recommend you see a Health Professional before commencing rehabilitation.
Call us today on 0203 893 5100 or book your initial assessment session online.