Achilles Tendonopathy

The Achilles is a thick tendon at the back of the ankle which joins the calf muscle to the heel of the foot.  Tendonitis is a medical term used to describe inflammation which is usually caused by repetitive, mechanical overload.

Mechanical overload occurs when the tendon is continually placed under more stress than it is capable of absorbing. Mechanical overload is often combined with insufficient recovery time between training sessions.

Inflammation and degeneration gradually accumulates before the pain and symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis are felt.

Prevalence – Achilles Tendonitis has been estimated to account for 11% of all injuries in runners].  It is usually an overuse injury particularly prevalent in older athletes.  It cam be a difficult condition to treat and often becomes chronic, causing persistent discomfort.

Symptoms –

  • Pain in the Achilles tendon especially when exercising and stretching i.e. walking up hill
  • Swelling and tenderness on and around the Achilles tendon

Causes –

  • Sudden increases and changes to exercise regime i.e. a sudden increase in running distance
  • Excessive tightness of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon
  • Over-pronation (inwards rolling) of the foot
  • Poor mobility of the ankle joint
  • Poor nerve dynamics of the lower limb
  • Excessive uphill running
  • Prolonged and consistent wearing of high heel shoes






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