Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon at the bottom of the calf, just above the heel. It is one of the strongest tendons in the body. When it becomes slightly overused, or there has been a change in the load to the tendon, it can become inflamed. This is know as tendonitis. It can also have wear and tear (tendinopathy) or it can become torn (rupture). Whilst achilles tendonitis is relatively common, a rupture to the tendon occurs in just 5 out of every 100,000 people.
Symptoms of an Achilles tendonitis include pain when walking, pain going up hill, tenderness to touch and on occasions, swelling. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis because the difference between treatment options varies hugely, and the timeframe for recovery can vary from 4-6 weeks (tendonitis) to over a year (rupture).
Thankfully, Physiotherapy is well placed to help. As Physiotherapists, we take a deep look as to why you are in pain, whether that be a movement issue or something else. Once we have found out exactly what is causing your pain, we can formulate a treatment plan to fix the problem.
Some of the techniques for Achilles pain treatment include:
Whilst the success rate of these treatments is high, occasionally we struggle to get a break through. We offer diagnostic ultrasound scans to differentiate between tendonitis and tears. Occasionally, we require Corticosteroid Injections, or PRP Injections which offer both pain relief and tissue regeneration and can have long lasting results. If you are interested in exploring these further, please speak to your Physiotherapist.
Usually, with a structured treatment plan, you can expect to see results within a matter of weeks – and most people experience and improvement in their pain immediately.
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