A tendon of the posterior leg which serves to attach the calf muscles to your heel bone is called the Achilles tendon. It is also known as calcaneal tendon. Achilles tendonitis is a condition where the band tissue in the Achilles tendon gets sore or stiff due to overuse. It is more common among the athletes who get training from in improper condition. Runners who suddenly increase their intensity have increased risk of getting injured with Achilles tendonitis. Middle-aged people can also get injured by playing tennis or basketball.
The condition is caused by intense strain on the Achilles tendon. This tendon is used for your normal activities such as walking, running, jumping or pushing up on your toes. It usually occurs if the intensity of the use of the Achilles tendon is increased suddenly. When you are injured with Achilles tendonitis, you will feel a pain as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel. If you continue running, climbing or sprinting, your pain will increase severely. You can diagnose the condition by seeing your physio. According to physio’s observation, he can suggest you to get an X-ray, ultrasound or MRI. Usually this condition responds well to self-care measures. You can take care at home under your physio’s supervision. Ensure that you are capable of doing that at home by yourself. Otherwise, any incorrect step can lead you to tendon tears which may require surgical repair.
The treatment of Achilles tendonitis can be done in many ways. You can take medications. Physiotherapy is one of the most beneficial solutions for Achilles tendonitis. You can start with exercises. Specific stretching and strengthening exercises are often suggested by physiotherapists to promote the healing process. They also enable to strengthen the tendon and its supporting structures. Exercises will also regain your strength and it will help you from another injury. Common exercises for Achilles tendon are the eccentric knee squat, balance and eccentric reach with toes, balance and eccentric reach with knee, dynamic Achilles stretch etc. For physiotherapy, calf stretch is one of the most effective exercises for the Achilles tendon. It helps to strengthen the calf muscle by reducing stress on the tendon. You can do it in very simple steps as- by keeping one knee straight, lean forward against a wall and place your heel on the ground. With the knee bent, place the other leg in front. Push your hips toward the wall to stretch the calf muscles and the heel cord. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat the exercise for 20 times for each foot.
To potentially aid the healing process, you can get ultrasound therapy. It will improve your blood circulation. Massage therapies will help you to increase flexibility and blood circulation. It will help prevent further injury in your lower leg. A custom orthotic device is usually recommended. If your Achilles tendon it in a tightening position, it will not heal properly. Ensure that the tendon is relaxed before you go to sleep. By having the proper physiotherapy and exercise, you can easily recover from the Achilles tendonitis and help prevent further injury.
Call Happy Physio today on (08) 9272 7359 if you would like expert help for your injuries.