The Achilles tendon is the thickest tendon (fibrous connective tissue) in the body. It is an extension of the calf muscles attaching to the heel of the foot (connecting muscle to bone). Achilles tendonitis is the Inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The two types of Achilles tendon injury includes: Achilles tendonitis is most commonly seen in joggers and jumpers. Achilles tendinosis refers to tiny tears in and around the tissue.

What exactly causes Achilles tendonitis?

Over training,  doing “too much too soon”, change in training surface, flat feet, high foot arch (tight Achilles tendon), tight hamstring or calf muscles, toe walking, constant use of high heels, poor foot wear, hill running, poor eccentric strength.

Risk factors of pain at the back of the heel

  • Sudden increase in intensity, frequency or duration of physical activity.
  • Poor footwear
  • Flat feet
  • Reduced recovery time between activities.
  • Change in surface, or hard/ uneven surfaces.
  • Tightness in calves.
  • Reduced range of motion in the ankle.

The signs and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis includes; pain, stiffness, loss strength in the leg, increases with the use of the tendon, increased pain and stiffness at night and morning upon waking up, signs of inflammation (tender, red, warm, swollen), sometime a crunchy sound when using the tendon. 

There are different grade of Achilles tendonitis.  

Grade 1 is mild, with pain after running only.
Grade 2 is moderate, with pain before and after running, and pain gradually decreases during the run.
Grade 3 is severe, pain with activity causing a reduced amount of activity.
Grade 4 is extreme, with pain during daily activities.

Prevention of heel pain 

Achilles Tendonitis can be prevented by; wearing appropriate shoes, tapping the ankle for support, warming up, stretching and cooling down prior physical activity, Good running technique to prevent stress on the Achilles tendon, gradual increase in intensity and duration of training and sufficient recovery time. 

Treatment / management of Achilles pain 

If you experience a rupture or tear of the Achilles tendon apply the RICER protocol. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral if required. RICE is to be implemented for 48-72hours proceeding. There should be no heat, alcohol, running or massage applied during this acute phase. 

After this acute phase, a rehabilitation plan is implemented. This will gradually build the strength back up in the connective tissue. 

Here at Lakeside Chiropractic, our sports chiropractors have treated multiple cases of Achilles tendonitis. Lakeside Chiropractic, central to the northern suburbs of Perth now and our chiropractors can provide a full assessment. The chiropractors here will examine your leg/ foot and reach a concise diagnosis, and provide the most appropriate care. Lakeside Chiropractic provides a multimodal approach, this includes- Soft tissue therapy,  joint mobilisation, rehabilitative exercises and stretches, activity and training advice will be given by our chiropractors to aid in recovery, education on technique and postural correction as a preventative measure, anti-inflammatory advice will be given if necessary. Dr Linda Schiller has a post graduated Sports science diploma and had 20 years of experience in dealing with extremity pain.

Lakeside Chiropractic is central to Perth’s northern suburbs; located in Joondalup. We have patients visiting us from the surrounding suburbs such as 6028 -Currambine, Iluka, Burns Beach, Kinross, 6027- Ocean Reef, Mullaloo, Connolly, Beldon. You can contact us on 9300 0095, or visit our website www.lakesidechiro.com.au to make an booking or for further information.

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