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Achilles Tendon Pain?

Achilles Tendon Pain?

The achilles tendon is an extremely strong structure connecting the calf muscle to the heel of the foot.

Achilles pain is quite a common issue and can occur at various points in the achilles tendon. Sometimes pain in the achilles region may not be due to the achilles tendon at all, and may be caused by other structures such as tibialis posterior or issues with the plantar fascia.

Achilles pain can be caused by repeated trauma or overuse or degenerative changes.  Achilles issues can also come as a result of a direct trauma or acute tear.

The most common achilles problem normally seen is achilles tendinopathy (overuse or degenerative changes).

It is important to see your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as different issues will require different intervention.

An assessment for achilles pain will normally include checking the biomechanics of the foot and lower limb to establish any movement patterns that may be contributing to the symptoms and evaluation of strength and range of movement.

Treatment for achilles normally includes strengthening and controlled loading of the tendon to improve symptoms, as this has been shown to have the best evidence base for management.

Other modalities such as manual therapies or electrotherapy can also help with pain and easing muscle issues that may be contributing to symptoms.  Some patients may also find orthotics helpful in managing biomechanical issues.

Achilles tendon issues can vary greatly in duration dependent on injury and how the tissues respond to treatment, however,  many people do find their symptoms start to improve within a few weeks.

Tara Lawson
Chartered Physiotherapist Warr Physio Clinic

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