What is Achille’s Tendonitis:
Achilles tendonitis is pain and inflammation of the Achille’s Tendon. The Achilles tendon arises from the insertion at the back of the heel of your foot and extends to the powerful calf muscles of the leg. This tendon has an important job in assisting the powerful calf muscles by transferring a lot of load which is transferred into the foot during running and walking. Inflammation and thickening of the Achilles tendon is an injury commonly seen in adults and may be misdiagnosed in children who actually have Sever’s Disease.
Causes of Achille’s tendonitis:
Achilles tendonitis can be seen in people who have an adult flat foot which pronates. If the foot rolls in (pronation) the calf acts to exaggerate this movement which places increased torque on the Achilles tendon. If you have inflammatory arthritis in the foot this can also increase the risk of getting Achilles tendinitis. With arthritis heel spurs can form at the attachment of the achillies tendon which can make the tendon less elastic.
Types of Achilles Tendonitis:
Acute Achilles Tendonitis: These are typically minor forms of the condition, where you have a little pain to walk after doing sport or running.
Moderate cases of acute Achilles tendonitis can occur when pain is present during an activity and there may be some thickening and swelling in the tendon. The pain is present after rest and sometimes even during the activity.
Chronic Achilles Tendonitis: is where pain has been present for more than 4 weeks. There can be intrasubstance tears in the tendon. It hurts to walk on a daily basis and you may even limp which can make the tendon weaker. Thick nodules can appear along the Achille’s tendon, Occasionally, the Achilles Tendon can rupture, in which the patient typically feels a hard wack sensation on the back of the heel.
Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis:
Inspire Podiatrists tailor your rehabilitation specific to the severity of your Achilles Tendon Pain. We provide the highest level of service with the best treatment advice. This may include SHOCKWAVE THERAPY, PROLOTHERAPY, a modification of activity, ice, anti-inflammatory agents, stretching, dry needling, joint mobilisation and electrotherapy.
We reduce the load on the tendon by improving the flexibility in the calf muscle. We may reduce the uneven stress on the achillies tendon by stopping excessive rolling in of the foot (pronation) by using orthotic inserts within shoes. Shockwave Therapy is designed to repair the tendon tissue and is extremely effective on both midportion and insertional Achillies tendon pain. We can assess your walking and give advice to improve your running technique.
Prolotherapy can be very effective for treatment on the Achillies tendon especially at the insertion of the tendon. It involves the injection of glucose (sugar/ dextrose solution) and lignocaine (local anaesthetic) into ligaments/ nerves and tendons which triggers inflammation and new collagen. This regenerating is the healing cascade in which fibroblasts and collagen are produced which aid the healing process and pain reduction in joints. Overtime it can help to eventually shorten ligaments, restoring effective ligament function and improved joint stability.
After prolotherapy treatments, microscopic studies have demonstrated an increase in collagen fibril size and number. It has been noted within studies of 30-40% increase in strength of tendon attachment to bone of patients who have undergone prolotherapy compared to patients who have not had prolotherapy.
Inspire Podiatrists are experts in the management of Achillies Tendinitis and we are up to date with the specific protocols for your correct rehabilitation. In order to strengthen the Achilles tendon we have the ability to write you an exercise program. Evidence shows that 85% of patients will make a full recovery within 6 weeks with strength work including both isometric and eccentric loading exercises for the tendon. This stimulates healing by triggering the receptors in the Achilles tendon.
Whilst we will provide orthotics where needed, we utilise a variety of hands on treatment modalities. Some of the ways we assess and treat with passion are:
- Shockwave Therapy
- Muscle energy techniques
- Foot mobilisation
- Dry needling
- Electrotherapy (combination of ultrasound and electrotherapy)
- Strength & Conditioning Programs
- Full posture, Balance and Running Assessments
Our broad range of treatment techniques ensures you can return to sport as soon as possible. We work with you to create a personalised treatment plan to ensure full function and a successful recovery.