In Focus: Achilles Tendinopathy

In Focus: Achilles Tendinopathy

In Focus: Achilles Tendinopathy


Achilles tendinopathy is a common condition that affects the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is characterised by pain and inflammation in the tendon. The condition can be caused by a number of factors, including overuse, sudden increase in activity, poor footwear, and biomechanical abnormalities.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy

The most common symptom of Achilles tendinopathy is pain in the back of the heel or lower leg. The pain is usually worse when you first start moving after a period of rest, such as after getting out of bed in the morning. The pain may also be worse when you go up or down stairs, or when you run or jump.

Other symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy may include:

  • Swelling or tenderness in the back of the heel or lower leg
  • A feeling of tightness or stiffness in the calf muscles
  • A popping or clicking sensation in the tendon


Diagnosis of Achilles Tendinopathy

The diagnosis of Achilles Tendinopathy can be made by your Physiotherapist. They will take a history of your symptoms and perform a physical examination. usually further investigations such as X-Rays or scans aren't required.

Treatment for Achilles Tendinopathy

The treatment for Achilles tendinopathy depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, treatment may simply involve modifying activities or training patterns and some relative rest from certain activities. However, in most cases the mainstay of treatment involves putting specific load on the tendon through carefully managed exercises.

Loading exercises are important in tendinopathy because they help to:

  • Remodel the tendon. Tendons are made of collagen fibers, which are constantly being remodeled. When a tendon is injured, the collagen fibers are damaged. Loading exercises help to stimulate the growth of new collagen fibers, which can help to strengthen and repair the tendon.
  • Reduce pain and inflammation. Loading exercises can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the tendon by increasing blood flow to the area.
  • Improve range of motion. Loading exercises can help to improve range of motion in the joint that is affected by tendinopathy.
  • Prevent re-injury. Loading exercises can help to prevent the tendon from becoming injured again by strengthening it and improving its flexibility.

It is important to start loading exercises gradually and to listen to your body. If you experience pain, stop the exercise and rest. As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of the exercises. It is important to work with an experienced Physiotherapist to develop a loading exercise program that is right for you.

Recovery Time

The recovery time for Achilles tendinopathy varies depending on the severity of the condition and the type of treatment used. In mild cases, recovery may take a few weeks. More severe cases may take several months or even a year to heal.

Preventing Achilles Tendinopathy

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent Achilles tendinopathy, including:

  • Warming up before exercise
  • Cooling down after exercise
  • Wearing supportive footwear
  • Avoiding sudden increases in activity
  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese

If you are experiencing pain in your Achilles tendon, it is important to seek help for diagnosis and early treatment. Early intervention is important to prevent the condition from becoming chronic, so contact us today to see how we can help!

Thanks for reading, PhysioGo