Specialists in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
The Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body connecting the calf muscle (which is made up of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) to the heel bone known as the calcaneus. The Achilles tendon needs to be extremely strong as it must be able to withstand forces of up to 12 times a person’s body weight during running and sprinting activities. Occasionally the Achilles tendon can become overloaded resulting in tendinopathy, this type of injury more commonly presents overtime due to repetitive strain however it can also be triggered by a single acute incident. There are a number of factors which can contributed to Achilles injury including tight or poorly conditioned calf musculature, poor foot mechanics, faulty footwear and inappropriate training methods.
Typically those suffering with Achilles Tendinopathy will complain of a dull ache in the tendon usually worse first thing in the morning or at the beginning of exercise. At the initial stages of the injury the ache often goes away once warmed up however as the condition progresses the pain is more constant and debilitating.
Early intervention is key, the longer you go without intervention the tendon will become weaker and more painful and ultimately harder to treat. Physiotherapy intervention is key in helping to return the tendon to full health and restore normal function. Treatment specifics will depend on the causes of the condition but may include a combination of exercise (strengthening & stretching), Deep Tissue Massage, Laser, Dry Needling and/or Orthotics.
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