Pain in the Achilles is a common complaint….says our Chartered physiotherapist Beccy Wyatt. Particularly amongst sports people and active individuals, it is one of the most injured tendons within our population.
The Achilles is the biggest tendon within our body and is able to withstand immense forces, however it is surprisingly susceptible to injury and in some cases tears or ruptures can occur. Runners and athletes who participate in sports involving high impact and jumping are often those who experience problems. Here at Lilliput Health in Poole we frequently have professional and recreational runners presenting to the clinic with Achilles problems where our experienced team of Chartered Physiotherapists are on hand to help.
People frequently describe any or a combination of the following symptoms:
- Pain either during or after exercise (typically running) which gradually worsens after activity
- Localised pain and stiffness over the Achilles tendon itself upon waking in the mornings
- Swelling around the back of the leg above the heel and around the Achilles tendon
- Symptoms may have gradually begun over time and may not be related to a specific injury or incident.
At times of Achilles rupture, there will be immediate, excruciating pain and a feeling of being kicked in the back of the leg. Some people describe a tearing sensation whilst others state they may have heard an audible crack. Often walking and continuing with activity is impossible due to the volume of pain. In these cases, surgical repair is the best management followed by an extensive rehabilitation programme guided by a Physiotherapist.
Treatment for Achilles tendon
Here at Lilliput Health we provide a full assessment of each individual presenting with Achilles pain. Our Physiotherapists assess muscle length and power, looking for any imbalances as well as identifying any changes in foot alignment or technique during walking and running which may have contributed towards the Achilles pain.
Treatment consists of relative rest, application of ice (following the RICE protocol) and activity modification from aggravating or the causative factors. A progressive muscle strengthening and eccentric loading programme then takes place to rehabilitate the affected Achilles tendon.
If you have injured your Achilles tendon or suffer with pain in the Achilles region which affects your participation in sport call Lilliput Health today on 01202 725 090 to speak to a member of our skilled Physiotherapy team for further advice.