Achilles tendinitis can have a huge impact on your sports and hobbies and if it becomes very severe, it can even affect your everyday life, making simple things like walking down the stairs very painful. So what is it? It is an overuse injury of the calf muscles (back of the leg) and because these attach on to a large tendon behind the ankle, it is here where the pain is felt (see the photo below). Sometimes patients have difficulty understanding this because although they may be in severe pain at the back of their ankle (just above the heel and sometimes all over the heel), it is actually coming from tight and overused and calf muscles. There are many reasons for these muscles to become tight and tired including poor footwear when running or suddenly increasing running levels or any sport which includes sudden acceleration or deceleration or pivots – such as basketball, tennis or badminton. However, Achilles tendinitis is not only caused by sports, sometimes simple things such as wearing high heels for too long or having flat feet can lead to the development of this condition
If this tendinitis is not treated effectively it can become chronic (tendonitis) and weaken the achilles tendon which can then tear or rupture which may need surgical repair. As osteopaths we therefore always advise treatment and rehab exercises on the calf muscles as quickly as possible to prevent tearing of the tendon. Before treatment begins we advise on things that can be done at home to reduce pain and increase healing, things like applying ice, resting the calf and gentle non-weightbearing stretches. At the first stage of treatment we gently massage the calf muscles and also review the mechanics of the whole leg to make sure these are functioning properly to help speed up healing. As treatment commences, we advise on stronger stretching techniques and then progress to staged strengthening exercises to strengthen the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon to prevent tearing and further pain. We also spend time with the patient explaining how best to return to their sport or hobby in a safe way so that they can fully enjoy their passion without risking further injury.
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Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic
The Lords wood Osteopathic Clinic was established and is run by Sue Jennings, BSc (Hons), Osteopath. The Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic is situated on the ground floor of Lordswood Leisure Centre, North Dane Way, Chatham, with plenty of free parking and disabled access. The clinic is open during the daytime on Monday to Friday, evening appointments available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings. Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic staff are all registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).