What is it?
- Achilles tendinopathy is a common cause of calf and heel pain.
- It can be caused by a single traumatic event but is more often a result of repetitive stress to the tendon.
- Pain is normally worse first thing in the morning where the calf feels tight and sore to walk. The Achilles tendon may also be tender to touch and may appear swollen.
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy?
- Calf tightness or weakness
- Changing your footwear or poor footwear
- Being over weight
- Diabetes also increases your risk of developing a tendinopathy.
What Can you Do?
- Reduce activities that aggravate your heel pain: this may involve temporarily reducing your training intensity or changing to different form of training for a short period.
- Wear supportive footwear: wearing a shoe with a slight heel or a shoe with a thicker sole to absorb shock may help to reduce the strain on the tendon.
- Use ice over the tendon: this can to reduce pain and tenderness around the tendon. The ice should be wrapped in a towel and placed over the tendon for no longer than 10 minutes.
- Use simple painkillers: this should be discussed with your GP or pharmacist.
- Perform specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the tendon: gentle stretches help to reduce any calf tightness whilst strengthening exercises help with the tendon recovery process.
How long will it take to get better?
This will depend on how long you have had the symptoms and whether you are able to reduce the strain on the tendon. It can take several weeks to months for the symptoms to fully resolve.
How Can we Help?
- Soft tissue massage to help stretch tight calf muscles.
- Specific rehabilitation exercises.
- Advice on appropriate footwear, training or Orthotics