Article by Scott Schulte
How Do You Treat Achilles Tendinopathy?
The Achilles tendon is one of the biggest and strongest tendons in the human body. It is a continuation of the calf muscles and inserts at the bottom of the calcaneus (heel bone). “Achilles tendinopathy” refers to a combination of changes affecting the Achilles tendon, usually due to overuse or chronic excessive stress on the tendon. It can occur in athletes and non-athletes.
The specific approach used to treat Achilles tendinopathy can differ slightly depending on the location and stage of your tendinopathy. However, there are common strategies that research has shown to be effective.
- Activity modifications include a temporary reduction in the activities that cause more than mild discomfort.
- Heel lifts, supportive shoes and offload taping can effectively allow acute symptoms to settle.
- Manual therapy, including massage or dry needling to improve mobility and ease muscle spasms around the lower leg and ankle.
- Appropriate tendon loading exercises to restore flexibility and strength in the Achilles tendon and surrounding muscles.
- Anti-inflammatory medications may be considered in particularly stubborn cases to assist in settling acute symptoms.
- Management of other contributing factors such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle habits is also beneficial.
Your physiotherapists at PhysioWorks will diagnose your Achilles tendinopathy and identify any contributing factors. They use various strategies and manual therapy techniques to settle your pain and guide you through a specific tendon loading program to restore tendon strength and allow you to return to usual activities and sports.
For more advice regarding Achilles tendinopathy, please contact your nearest PhysioWorks clinic.
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