What is Achilles Tendinopathy?
Your Achilles Tendon attaches your calf muscles to your heel. It helps in the absorption of forces with walking, running, and jumping. Tendinitis of your Achilles is a local irritation of this tendon. It can occur as a specific isolated injury. Achilles tendinopathy, or thickening of the achilles, is considered a repetitive strain injury.
Factors Involved in Achilles:
- Flexibility / length of the muscles of the lower extremity
- Mobility and alignment of of the joints of the foot / ankle
- Strength and coordination of the muscles of the hips, legs, feet
The Role of Physiotherapists and Chiropodists:
The role of Physiotherapists with Chiropodists in assessing and treating Achilles is multi-faceted. A thorough assessment of a persons health, gait, strength, structure, mobility and footwear should happen. This will help direct the direction of treatment.
The Physio and Chiropodist will help manage the pain and address any inflammation present. They will also address the factors that may be causing the achilles to take more strain and stress than it is capable of handling. This may include retraining of the body and exercises fo the surrounding area. The Chiropodist may also suggest custom orthotics to help in offloading and supporting the tissues. This also ensures the feet, knees and hips are operating from an optimal platform.
The Physio may also suggest:
- Joint mobilizations (manual therapy)
- Soft tissue work (they may also refer you to an RMT)
- Supportive taping
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
As with any injury, it is best to address this issue sooner. This way the Physio / Chiropodist can assist you with education to help ensure that it does not worsen, and help you optimize your recovery.