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achilles tendinosis


YOUR INJURY Achilles tendonosis is a condition that affects the lower part of your Achilles tendon which connects your calf muscle to your heel. Achilles tendonosis (which may also be referred to as Achilles tendinopathy) involves degeneration of the tendon. The symptoms include: n a gradual onset of pain during and after exercise over the tendon


n stiffness in the morning n pain when you do a heel raise.


It is important that this injury is not allowed to become a long-term problem as this may lead to permanent tendon damage.


TREATMENT If the injury is treated early (i.e. at the inflammatory stage often known as Achilles tendinitis) then rest, ice therapy and ultrasound may be used to treat the inflammation. If the condition is more chronic then massage, ultrasound and stretching exercises may be employed to help break down the scar tissue which has built up. Your clinician may also recommend orthotics (shoe inserts).


YOUR REHABILITATION PROGRAMME This programme has specific exercises to help stretch and strengthen muscles which may be weak. It is really important to ensure the exercises are performed with good technique and good postural control. Make sure to repeat the same number of exercises on both legs, that you are pain-free at all times and take care not to progress too quickly. We have given suggested sets and repetitions, but everyone is different so your practitioner may give guidance that is more specific to you.


WARM UP AND COOL DOWN If muscles are tight, weak or injured, it is particularly important to warm up (unless advised otherwise by your practitioner) with a fast walk or a gentle jog at a pain-free pace for 5 minutes before you start your exercises. This


HOME EXERCISE PRODUCTS


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Achilles tendon


Attachment of Achilles tendon to heel Heel bone Diagram showing the ankle and Achilles tendon


increases your circulation and helps prepare the muscles for the activity to come. When you have finished your exercises, end the session with a 5 minute gentle walk or slow jog to allow your heart rate to slow down gradually.


WHY YOUR REHABILITATION PROGRAMME IS IMPORTANT The cause of Achilles tendonosis is often associated with overuse. However, if this is coupled with weakness of some muscles and tightness of others, this could place extra strain on the Achilles tendon, making the problem worse. It is therefore essential that the exercises you have been given are performed correctly and at the required frequency as your practitioner will be relying on your input to achieve a successful outcome. A home exercise programme is usually effective in achieving successful rehabilitation of Achilles tendinosis.


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The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. To the extent permissible by law, the publisher, editors and contributors accept no liability for any loss, injury or damage howsoever incurred (including negligence) as a consequence, whether directly or indirectly, of the use by any person of the contents of this article.


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