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Achilles Tendon Injuries

Posted on 13th April 2017 by

What is Achilles Tendinopathy?

Achilles tendinopathy refers to any problems with the Achilles tendon, the part of your body that connects the calf muscle to your foot via your heel bone.

The ‘-opathy’ part refers to a disorder of the tendon and is used as an umbrella term to cover a range of issues that can affect the Achilles tendon.

Problems with the Achilles Tendon are graded:

  • Grade I: Mild strain.
  • Grade II: Moderate strain.
  • Grade III: Complete rupture.

Achilles Tendinopathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What causes Achilles Tendinopathy?

A tendinopathy results when the forces placed through the tendon exceed it’s ability to function.

Achilles tendinopathy can be caused by several factors:

  • Overuse of the area
  • Traumatic injury
  • Poor foot biomechanics
  • Sudden changes to sports or training patterns
  • Improper footwear
  • Calf weakness or tightness

The most common cause is repetitive ‘micro’ trauma to the tendon or overuse. The repetitive strain can result in a chronic Achilles tendinopathy, where there is a gradual breakdown of the tissue of the tendon. You might have heard it as tendinitis previously. It can either affect the middle portion of the tendon or the point where the tendon inserts into the heel bone.

What might Achilles Tendinopathy feel like?

  • Mild to moderate pain and stiffness around the back of the heel in a grade 1 or 2 strain. The more severe the strain, the more severe the symptoms would tend to be.
  • Swelling or a small lump on the Achilles tendon in a grade 1 or 2 strain.
  • Tightness into the calf muscles.
  • A complete rupture (grade 3) is often characterised by a ‘pop’ with immediate pain and an inability to bear weight through your foot.

How do the symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy progress?

  • A mild Achilles tendinopathy can resolve itself with relative rest and POLICE pretty quickly.
  • A more moderate strain or mild strain that lasts more than a few weeks, usually needs some input to fully resolve.
  • If left untreated, Achilles tendinopathies can develop into a chronic problem leading to permanent changes to the structure of the tendon, with scar tissue forming. In non-traumatic cases, if you don’t do something to address the cause, it is unlikely resolve.
  • A grade 3 complete rupture will require surgery or conservative management in the form of immobilisation in a special boot or cast.

How is Achilles Tendinopathy diagnosed?

  • A Physiotherapist will be able to diagnose an Achilles tendinopathy from a thorough assessment. This will include taking a detailed history to identify the potential cause of the problem, analysing muscle strength and length, looking at your foot biomechanics, looking at your kinetic chain (so this is the link between your foot, knee & pelvis to see how they work together), linking this into your activity levels and sports.
  • Occasionally, you may be referred for an ultrasound scan if the Physio is concerned about a possible tear or rupture to the tendon. This is normally quite obvious when it happens but we’ve certainly had a few through the clinic over the years that we’ve diagnosed with a complete rupture and sent straight to A&E.

What is the best treatment for Achilles Tendinopathy (Grade 1 & 2) 

  • Addressing the cause in non-traumatic cases is key. Your Physiotherapist will be able to help you with this once they’ve identified the root of the issue.
  • Physiotherapy – this will help reduce scar tissue formation and improve the rate of healing. It may consist of manual soft tissue work, electrotherapy, taping and specific exercises.
  • Selective rest – avoid any high impact activities and take a break from any aggravating sports or activities to allow the injury to recover.
  • Ice – helps to manage the pain and swelling
  • Painkillers – allows you to keep moving and do all your Physio exercises!
  • Orthotics – if foot biomechanics are contributing to your Achilles problems, a GaitScan to identify any issues and a pair of orthotics will address this to stop the problem reoccurring.

Prognosis for Achilles Tendinopathy

  • With early and appropriate treatment, Achilles Tendinopathy issues tend to resolve within 8-16 weeks.
  • Chronic problems may take up to 6 months to resolve.

Products that may help Achilles Tendinopathy

  • Foam Roller
  • K-Tape
  • Ice pack
  • Orthotics

Can Achilles Tendinopathy be prevented? 

Maintaining general health and fitness, maintaining muscle strength and flexibility throughout your whole body, can be a good way of preventing injuries such as tendinopathies. Paying special attention to your training regime and programme if you take art in regular sports such as running, is really important. Too much, too soon, too far, too often, can all increase the risk of a tendon problem. Allow your body time to adjust to the demands you place upon it.

If you do start to feel a niggle, don’t ignore it. The longer you leave problems like this without addressing the cause, the more severe they can become.

Think about your footwear too, wearing good quality, supportive footwear at all times can help prevent Achilles tendinopathy.

Related injuries

If you’ve suffered an injury or pain in your Achilles tendon, call now for an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment programme, or book your appointment online.

 

 


Win A 30 Minute Sports Massage Today!

Posted on 18th December 2016 by

Sports Massage Chandlers FordIt’s finally almost here. Tomorrow we are opening the doors to the new clinic and studio, ready to welcome you and help you live a healthy, active, positive life, free of pain and injury. For our last giveaway, you can win a 30 minute sports massage. Just like and share this post!

We can’t wait to see you in our new clinic.


A Pair of Pilates Socks Up For Grabs Today

Posted on 14th December 2016 by

Pilates Socks Chandlers Ford5 days to go and today is another chance to win a pair of Pilates socks.

The APPI Pilates Sock has been designed with a non-slip sole and a seamless toe. The APPI Pilates sock helps with balance, control and gripping of equipment, floor surfaces, and mats.

The Socks design also includes ‘unique reflexology points’ on the sole of the foot.

Just like and share this post for your chance to win!


Day 14 – Win a 1-2-1 Pilates Session Today

Posted on 14th December 2016 by

Pilates Chandlers Ford

1-2-1 pilates session up for grabs!

In recent years, Pilates has become recognised as one of the most effective ways to maintain a pain free life.

Our specialist, Physiotherapist led classes, will help you learn how to move efficiently, giving you strength, control and physical durability. Enthusiastic exercisers, Mum’s to be, the elderly and anyone that values their body, can all benefit from Pilates. If you’re recovering from injury it’s an excellent form of rehabilitation, training your body to ‘move better’, preventing re-occurrences.

We offer a range of classes to suit all abilities. All of our courses are progressive and encourage you to develop at your own pace. Classes are run 6 days a week, including evenings and a Saturday morning, so it’s easy to find a class that fits in with your diary. Take a look at our latest time table for the current class times.

Unlike other Pilates classes in the area, our instructors are all also qualified Physiotherapists. You’ll benefit from the small class size and the individual attention and expertise the Physio provides, guiding and progressing you through your tailored programme, enhancing your performance.

Like and share the post today and you could win a free 30 minute 1-2-1 pilates session!


January 10% Off For All Who Like & Share Our Page Today

Posted on 12th December 2016 by

10% off at goPhysioThis time next week we’ll be opening the doors to our new clinic. Welcoming you to wonderful surroundings and facilities which support and promote your physical health this January.

To celebrate, today – everyone who Likes our Facebook Page, Follows us on Twitter or Instagram AND shares this post, will receive a voucher for 10% off physiotherapy & sports massage throughout January.


Day 5 Giveaway – A Free Pilates Session

Posted on 5th December 2016 by

pilates sessionHave you always wondered what Pilates is all about, thinking of joining a class but not sure where to start or want a boost to your Pilates practice by having a 30 minute 1-2-1 session with one of our Physio’s?

Enter today’s giveaway by liking our Facebook page, Following us on twitter or Instagram and then sharing this post and you’ll be entered into the giveaway draw to win a free 30 minute  1-2-1 Pilates session.

#MoveAndImprove


goPhysio Wins Award for Excellent Customer Service

Posted on 12th February 2016 by

goPhysio has been recognised with an award for excellent customer service by healthcare search engine WhatClinic.com, based on feedback by customers over a twelve month period.

The award is based on feedback from patients, and combines scores for excellent customer service and timely consumer f
eedback. Customers rated clinics based on how well the clinic treated them, how quickly they were contacted and seen, and how happy they were with the treatment.

goPhysio’s Non-Clinical Director, Fiona today said

“We are delighted to be recognised for our commitment to customer service. We work really hard to provide a supportive, friendly and caring environment for all our customers. It’s such a crucial part of the care we provide and it’s great to be recognised for what we do.”What Clinic Customer Service Award

WhatClinic.com CEO Caelen King congratulated goPhysio and said

“This is the 7th year we have run these awards. Every year, the standard goes up and up – and I’m delighted to recognise those clinics that are putting the needs of the patient first, every single day.
It’s the customer who selects our awards winners, by their clinic ratings and the feedback they leave about service and experience. We believe that empowering the patient with accurate information is the future of a successful healthcare market.”