Are you suffering from Achilles tendon pain?
Now that the weather is changing and the days are getting warmer, some of you may be starting to switch your gym routine to outdoor activities such as running and walking. Occasionally, as one changes their workout routine, the frequency, or intensity, there is a risk for injury. One of which is Achilles tendinitis, tendinosis or another term tendinopathy. Essentially, these are all terms used to describe an injury to the tendon. The umbrella term being tendinopathy, the “Itis” meaning micro-tears and inflammation at the musculotendinous unit or the “osis” meaning degeneration of the tendon collagen. Regardless of the term used to describe your calf, Achilles or heel pain, it can disrupt your ability to run, walk, hike and your general mobility. If you are noticing any abnormal discomfort in your Achilles or heel don’t wait too long to get it addressed because an acute inflammation “tendinitis” can lead to potential “tendinosis” or degeneration and will take longer to heal.
The Achilles tendon is a taut band which attaches from the gastrocnemius and soleus bundle (calf) to the heel.
Factors that are associated with Achilles pain include:
- Ankle Stiffness
- Weak and tight calf muscles
- Abnormal foot structure
- Abnormal foot mechanics
- Improper footwear
- Change in exercise routine or sport.
If you are experiencing any burning, achy, sharp or throbbing pain in your Achilles tendon and can’t participate fully in your training routine, or if its preventing you from going on your summer hikes, don’t hesitate to call Specialized Orthopedic Physical Therapy to address it. As I mentioned before the sooner the better. Acute inflammation that turns chronic will take longer to heal and prevent you from getting back to the things you love. The Physical Therapists at SOPT take pride in helping you get back to your pain-free lifestyle. We use a variety of manual treatment options to treat Achilles pain including soft tissue massage, ankle joint mobilizations, functional dry needling and taping techniques. We will evaluate your gait mechanics to determine any abnormalities that may be attributing to your pain as well as using modalities to decrease pain and inflammation. Finally, and most importantly we will design an individualized home exercise program that will help appropriately progress and reintegrate you back to your activities without straining the Achilles tendon. And further more we will provide you with maintenance exercises to prevent re-injury.
In the meantime, some quick tips before you walk or run, make sure you have good supported sneakers, start a dynamic stretching routine, foam roll and stretch your calf muscles and ice the Achilles tendon for pain and swelling control.
To get more individualized care contact us today and we will get you back to your outdoor summer activities pain-free!