The achilles is a band of fibrous, connective tissue which connects the calf musculature into the heel bone. Due to repetitive trauma, ageing, wear and tear, training errors, poor biomechanics, change in training surface and inappropriate footwear, this can lead to excessive strain on the achilles and consequent inflammation and pain.
What treatment is available?
Treatment of achilles tendinopathy involves a structured eccentric loading, exercise program. Ultrasound therapy and taping are used initially when inflammation and pain are significant. A biomechanical assessment and fitting for orthotics with additional heel lifts may be required if poor biomechanics such as excessive pronation (rolling in) or joint restrictions and tightness are observed. This is done in conjuction with a footwear review. Self management strategies such as stretching, icing and the use of anti inflammatories are also recommended. Immobilisation in a CAM boot (moon boot) may also be recommended for 4-6 weeks if not responding to treatment. Cortisone injections and surgery are considered when all conservative therapies have been exhausted.