Achilles Tendonitis Treatment Perth
Do you want relief from your Achilles tendon pain? Do you need Achilles tendonitis treatment so that you can return to sport or running as quickly as possibly? Book online and feel better with expert achilles tendonitis treatment from our experienced physiotherapists.
Tendons join muscles to bone and are designed to transfer load between the two structures. The Achilles tendon is prominent in most people, joining the calf muscles to the back of the heel. Achilles tendonitis or tendinopathy occurs if the Achilles tendon is overloaded with activity such as running and jumping.
Achilles Tendonitis or Achilles Tendinopathy?
Achilles tendinopathy, previously termed Achilles tendonitis is a broad term encompassing Achilles tendon disease or dysfunction. Research has concluded that inflammation is not always present in tendon dysfunction and as ‘itis’ is the suffix for inflammation, the term Achilles tendonitis may not always be appropriate.
Causes of Achilles Tendonitis
The most common cause of Achilles tendon pain is unaccustomed changes in load. Anyone can injure an Achilles tendon, but those who subject their body to new repetitive movements in their jobs, sports – especially running, or daily activities are more likely to develop tendon pain. Other changes, such as reduced sleep and stress can also make you more vulnerable to developing an Achilles tendonitis.
The Achilles tendon is designed to tolerate large forces and repetitive loading, however, on occasion, when the load is greater than the tendon can tolerate, it becomes stressed. When the tendon becomes stressed, small micro tears and inflammation may result. If adequately rested, the tendon usually recovers relatively quickly. However, continued loading can result in ongoing damage that exceeds the rate of repair. The damage will progressively worsen, causing ongoing pain and dysfunction.
For more information on the importance of load management in preventing tendon injuries, read My Physio Perth’s blog on ‘injury prevention and load management’.
Signs and Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis typically result in pain, stiffness, and loss of strength in the affected area.
- The pain may increase when you load the tendon.
- You may experience pain and stiffness when you first get up in the morning.
- The Achilles tendon may be tender, red, warm, or swollen if there is inflammation present.
- A crunchy sound or feeling may be experienced when moving the area.
Diagnosis of Achilles Tendonitis
My Physio Perth are experts in the diagnosis and classification of Achilles tendon injuries. Your physiotherapist will ask questions about your symptoms and exercise regime. They’ll also perform a physical examination to confirm the diagnosis. If required, they will commence achilles tendonitis treatment.
Stages of Achilles Tendonitis Treatment
Achilles Tendonitis injuries have been categorised into three stages, with the correct achilles tendonitis treatment varying considerably between each stage.
Reactive Achilles Tendonitis:
Reactive Achilles tendonitis occur following a bout of unaccustomed/increased physical activity or a direct blow. For example, a sudden increase in running or a blow with a hockey stick. This stage is more common in relatively young populations and normally results in significant pain and occasional swelling. Reduced load/rest is very important in managing reactive tendinopathies. My Physio Perth’s physiotherapists will perform treatment such as massage, dry needling, taping, ultrasound and may potentially prescribe orthotics or splints as required. Your physiotherapist may provide advice on the use of specific anti-inflammatory medications or gels to assist the reactive tendinopathy to settle. Cortisone injections are occasionally performed around the tendon but their use is controversial. It is very important to note that although the tendon pain may settle with rest, it’s tolerance to load will not improve without a structured achilles tendonitis treatment program including sepcific strengthening exercises.
Achilles Tendon Dysrepair:
Achilles tendon dysrepair can result if a reactive tendinopathy is not adequately rested. Repeated loading of the tendon prevents a normal healing response and the tendon becomes chronically dysfunctional. In older athletes with less adaptive, stiffer tendons, this stage may develop with lower loading exposure. Modifying exercise and implementing a customised strengthening program are essential in the management of tendon dysrepair.
Degenerative Achilles Tendinopathy:
Degenerative tendinopathies are more commonly seen in older populations, but can occasionally be seen in younger athletes with chronically overloaded tendons. The typical presentation is a middle-aged recreational athlete, with a long history of inappropriately managed tendon pain. Degenerative tendons lose structural integrity and elasticity and may have focal swelling and pain. They do not react well to increases in load and may inevitably lead to rupture. Specific strengthening exercises and load management are again essential in reducing pain and improving function. Limited evidence is available for the use of shockwave therapy.
Book online now if you require Achilles tendon treatment.
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