Achilles Tendinopathy: Symptoms and treatment

What is Achilles tendinopathy?

Tendinopathy is the term now used by most experts when describing an inflammation or pathology of a tendon. Also known as Achilles tendinitis or tendinosis, it is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon occurring as a reaction to an increased demand on the tendon, beyond its capabilities.

Where is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendon lies at the back of your ankle. It is a thick, fibrous tissue that attaches your calf muscle to your heel. The function of the tendon is to transmit the forces of the calf muscle to your foot, allowing you to do movements such as point your toes, run and jump.

Achilles Tendon

What are the symptoms?

  • Painful before or during exercises (running or jumping sport)
  • Painful after long period of immobility (long car drive, first thing in the morning)
  • Weakness or stiffness in the area
  • Swelling, redness or feels hot in the area

Common causes

  • Change in footwear (lack of support)
  • Change in training surface (soft to hard)
  • Lack of conditioning in training (too much too soon)
  • Excessive intensity
Runner with achilles pain

Diagnosis & Treatment

Achilles tendinopathy is often diagnosed by case history, physical examination and an ultrasound imaging (not compulsory).

Your osteopath will then recommend a treatment plan which may include hands on manual therapy, dry needling, shockwave therapy and progressive loading exercises.

Due to the complexity of the condition and poor healing progression of most tendinopathies, its best to get in touch with your osteopath or other registered health provider if you have any concerns regarding this condition.