We used to think that on-going pain in the Achilles was caused by inflammation; however we now know that this condition is caused by an aging process within the tendon. The condition can be very debilitating and in the past has been hard to treat.
No-one is quite sure why some people suffer with this problem however it is more common in people who;
- Run a lot
- have flat feet
- have weak calf muscles
- have stiff feet and ankles
- wear poor quality walking shoes/running shoes
Recently there has been a lot of research into a very specific exercise regime (eccentric exercise regime) which progressively stresses and remodels the Achilles tendon. It has shown encouraging results over a twelve week period that has long lasting effects.
In addition to this exercise program the most effective treatment for Achilles tendinosis is currently thought to include;
- a program to stretch the muscles of the calf
- assessment of lower limb biomechanics and correct excessive foot motion using tape or orthotics to reduce unnecessary forces through the tendon.
- activity modification and shoe assessment
- eccentric exercise programme
- soft tissue treatment to muscle spasm (trigger points) and areas of fibrosis to increase the flexibility and protective abilities of the muscles.