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Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathies

Posted on 2nd October 2020 by

Achilles tendon injuries or Tendinopathies are typically not related to a specific incident or injury, but instead are a result of overloading or overusing the tendon over a period of time. Your achilles tendon basically is complaining because it can’t cope with the physical demands that are being placed upon it! 

Many people suffer from Achilles Tendinopathies. Symptoms can include waking up with stiffness in your achilles tendon accompanied by difficulty walking downstairs. It often eases with light activity or movement, but gets worse again after high level activity, such as a long walk, running or climbing lots of stairs. Often after sitting or resting it stiffens up again and the pain returns. 

Achilles Tendinopathy

Like with Plantar Fasciitis, people who suffer with Achilles Tendinopathies experience the ‘yo-yoing’ of pain, rest, pain, rest! Before you know it, you’ve limited your activities and sports to avoid the pain. And just like Plantar Fasciitis, identifying the underlying cause is crucial. It could be flattened arches, poor training habits in running, footwear, lack of flexibility in other muscles, weak areas – many issues (or a combination of issues) can lead to Achilles Tendinopathy. 

Mild cases can resolve with rest, but this is rare. Because most people take the ‘wait and see’ approach, Achilles Tendinopathy can be a long standing (chronic) condition, before you seek expert help. If this is the case or if you’ve tried other treatments with no success, SWT can be a very effective treatment to stop your pain and start your recovery.

At goPhysio, we’d always take an approach where alongside tackling the pain, we’d also analyse and address what’s caused your Achilles Tendinopathy in the first place. Without doing this, you risk getting it again. So, with our expert guidance and holistic care, we give you the best possible chance of long term, recovery. 

Read more about achilles tendon injuries here.

There are many treatment options when it comes to resolving achilles tendinopathies. These include:

  • A wait & see approach (can just leave it and hope it will get better in time, which many will do within 8 – 12 months, it just depends whether you can live with it).
  • Physiotherapy – including strengthening exercises, stretches, manual treatment techniques and taping.
  • Acupuncture (which many Physio’s will do as part of their treatment).
  • Activity modification – a crucial part of successful treatment.
  • Medication, including pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

These forms of treatment can all be very effective for a mild or fairly recent onset of achilles tendinopathies. .

More invasive treatment options for more long standing or severe cases can include:

  • Corticio-steroid injection.
  • Surgery.

Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathies

However, steroid injections and surgery really are a last resort, there is no guarantee of success with either of these treatment options. A very worthwhile alternative for more severe, long-standing cases that may have failed to get better with other treatments is Shockwave Therapy.

With Shockwave Therapy, ‘shock waves’ are passed through the skin to the affected area using a special device. It’s a non-invasive and relatively pain-free treatment. The medical name for this procedure is ‘extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory tennis elbow’. ‘Extracorporeal’ means outside the body and ‘refractory’ means that the condition does not respond to conventional treatments. The ‘shock waves’ are inaudible, high-energy sound waves. How many sessions you will need depends on the severity of your pain and how long you’ve had the problem for. However, 4 – 6 are normally recommend.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that shockwave therapy is safe, although it can cause minor side effects, including bruising and reddening of skin in the area being treated.

Research shows that shockwave therapy can help improve the pain of achilles tendinopathies in some cases. However, it may not work in all cases, and further research is needed.

What next?

If you’ve been suffering with achilles tendinopathy and want help, get in touch. You can have a free no obligation phone call to see whether it may help you.

Alternatively, book straight in to see one of our Physiotherapists. They will carry out a full assessment of your elbow and put together a recovery plan for you. If they think shockwave treatment is going to help you, they can get started straight away. Unlike many clinics. we include shockwave therapy in the cost of your appointments, with no additional charges.

Read More

Achilles Tendon Injuries

Lower Limb Tendon Pain: What shouldn’t you be doing?

Overuse injuries

Hampshire Shockwave Therapy

Principles To Managing Running Injuries

Posted on 2nd February 2018 by

This is a great infographic, summarising the key principles that play a part in running injuries, from Physio Edge.

Running Injuries Recommendations

What is load tolerance?

In running terms, a load can be defined as a demand placed upon your body – so this can be training intensity, frequency, distance, duration, terrain etc. All of these parameters, in varying combinations, demand your body to be able to cope with them. These are all external factors.

Tissue capacity is your body’s ability to cope with the demands placed upon it. So that’s how well your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints can tolerate the running loads. This is dependant on your own natural physicality, your biomechanics, strength, flexibility, movement efficiency etc. These are all internal factors.

Load tolerance is the interplay between these 2 factors. So, if your tissue capacity matches the loading, no worries! However, if the loads that you are subjecting your body to in terms of your training exceed your tissue capacity, this is when your body starts to complain. It basically can’t cope with the demands.

So, what can you do to manage running injuries?

Manage your load well

  • Train appropriately for your level
  • Progress loads gradually
  • Vary your training
  • Be realistic
  • Have rest days

Optimise your tissue capacity

  • Incorporate strength and conditioning work into your training
  • Cross train – swimming, cycling and Pilates are great examples
  • Have your running style analysed and take professional advice
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Have a biomechanics assessment if you think that there may be issues with your foot position

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Running Injuries: The Basic Principles

Posted on 8th July 2016 by

There are 2 main types of running injuries that we commonly see at goPhysio:

  1. Traumatic injuries
  2. Overuse injuries

Traumatic injuries are caused by an accident or ‘traumatic event’ for example tripping over when you’re running or having a fall.

These type of injuries usually happen unexpectedly and are therefore difficult to prevent, however there are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of these types of injuries.

  • Invest in good quality running shoes that are suitable for the type of running (trail, road etc.).
  • Wear the correct shoes and clothing for the weather conditions.
  • Warm up well to help prevent injuries that may be caused by sudden movements.
  • Listen to your body – if you’re not feeling 100%, are overly tired or recovering from an injury, you’ll be more at risk of having an accident.

If you suffer a mild to moderate traumatic injury, the best course of action is to follow the P.O.L.I.C.E. acute injury management programme. This will give you the best chance of a speedy recovery and return to running.

It’s important to remember that even if you need to rest from running, try and stay as active as you can and find alternative forms of exercise like swimming or cycling, where you can maintain your fitness, strength and flexibility but still allow your injury to recover.

It’s also very important to do specific exercises to work your injured are to recover strength and flexibility. This is particularly important to help prevent any re-injury once you’re back to running.

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive movements that build up over time, that eventually your body can’t cope with. Given the repetitive and high impact nature of running, overuse injuries in runners are extremely common.

There are 2 main causes of overuse injuries:

Extrinsic Causes

These relate to external factors such as:

  • Footwear – wearing the wrong type of shoe for you or a shoe that’s worn out.
  • Running surfaces – repeated running on overly hard surfaces or on a certain camber.
  • Your training programme – normally overtraining, so increasing speed or distances too quickly and not allowing adequate recovery time.

Intrinsic Causes

These are related to your physical build and design. These include:

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Lack of flexibility or even over flexibility
  • Running technique
  • Biomechanics
  • Your own skeletal design

It can often be a cumulative combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that lead to an injury. You can read more about overuse injuries on another one of our blogs.


Tennis Injuries

Posted on 2nd July 2016 by

We’re half way through the famous annual Wimbledon Tennis event. It’s such a popular event and Tennis injuries Chandlers Fordcertainly creates a buzz around the sport.

Tennis places huge physical demands on the professionals, which is understandable given the rigorous training and competition they take part in. Yet, for the novice tennis players out there, injuries can be just as problematic.

Common tennis injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears or impingement
  • Low back pain
  • Wrist sprains
  • Calf muscle injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee injuries such as ligament sprain or tendon issues
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Mild to moderate soft tissue injuries can often be well managed at home using P.O.L.I.C.E. principles. However, many tennis injuries result from ‘overuse’ – so an injury that is from a sustained, repeated action, like a tennis grip or swing. If this is the case, you may need help identifying exactly where the problem is stemming from and what changes that are needed. Physiotherapy is an effective way of resolving all of the above common injuries.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have written a summary of the common tennis injuries and how physiotherapy can help.

If injury’s stopping you from enjoying a game of tennis, then get is touch with us at goPhysio. We’ll provide an accurate diagnosis of your injury and a treatment programme that works to get you back in the game.


What’s Physiotherapy got to do with a dripping tap?!

Posted on 2nd June 2016 by

Dripping tap and overuse injuriesI recently read a very interesting analogy about physiotherapy for overuse injuries and & a dripping tap! I thought it was an interesting way to look at physio and made real sense.

If you’ve got a dripping tap, you’ve got a couple of options.

Firstly you may put a bucket under the drip to collect the water or you can keep mopping it up. This is a great short term solution. The damage is contained and it doesn’t cost too much. But this isn’t great longer term. You’re just managing the problem without a long term solution. Like an injury, this is treating the symptoms of the problem.

But, as well as mopping up the leak, what you really need to do is find out why the tap is leaking and get it fixed, finding the cause of the problem and tackling it. Without doing this, you’ll be forever ‘mopping up’ and it will get pretty expensive with wasted water bills.

Overuse injuries can be looked at in a similar way. Pain is the dripping tap. You can take painkillers, you can rest – but this isn’t really tackling the problem of why you developed the injury in the first place. If all you’re doing is mopping up, you’re not actually fixing the leak. With overuse injuries, you need someone to look holistically at whats happening, identify the cause and offer solutions to rectify it and stop it happening again.

Overuse injuries occur because you’re doing something regularly and you body can’t cope with it, the demands you’re physically placing on your body are exceeding your body’s threshold to cope. So, if you’re suffering with an ongoing or long term overuse injury – do you want to be forever mopping up or do you want to get to the bottom of it and get it fixed? If you want a solution then give us a call. We get to the root of your problem, help relieve your symptoms but also address what’s really happening.