Achilles Injury

Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention for repetitive injury and trauma to the Achilles tendon.

What Are Achilles Injuries?

Achilles injuries and pain is often caused by repetitive trauma and overuse which results in strain and inflammation within the Achilles tendon.

This type of injury is commonly seen in young people who are very active but can occur in people who are not involved in sport.

The Achilles tendon is the main tendon that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. It is very important as it is responsible for lifting the heel when we begin to walk.

This tendon has limited blood supply so it does take longer to heal, causing prolonged pain, if left untreated.

Achilles Injuries Snapshot

  • Caused by repetitive trauma
  • Strains lead to inflammation
  • Common in active young people
  • Limited blood supply (takes longer to heal)
  • Can caused prolonged pain if left untreated


Causes of Achilles Tendon Injury and Pain

  • Muscle tightness.
  • Overtraining.
  • Poor foot function and abnormalities in the way you walk.
  • Flat feet.
  • Inappropriate footwear, with little support.
  • Weight gain.
  • Menopause and hormonal changes.


Symptoms of Achilles Tendon Injury and Pain

  • Tenderness at the back of the heel and Achilles Tendon.
  • Localised redness, swelling, warmth.
  • Reduced mobility or limp on the injured side.
  • A bump on the back of the heel may be present (Haglund’s Deformity).


Treatment for an Achilles Tendon Injury and Pain

  • Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate (R.I.C.E) on the initial phase of the injury only.
  • Release and strengthening program by a podiatrist.
  • Shock Wave Therapy.
  • Foot mobilisation therapy.
  • Heel raises placed inside the shoes to reduce strain and pressure on the tendon.
  • Foot strapping, temporarily.
  • Revising training regime and techniques.
  • Temporary avoidance of repetitive activities if very inflamed.
  • Appropriate footwear.
  • Dry needling and/or prolotherapy.
  • Customised orthotic therapy to correct any abnormal walking styles.
  • Cortisone injection (may increase the risk of tendon rupture). Discuss this with your podiatrist.
  • Surgical lengthening of Achilles tendon performed by a foot surgeon, for non-responsive and severe cases.

Well Heeled Podiatry will assess your Achilles injury and pain and present you with an individual treatment regime.

We will also provide you with preventative strategies to avoid the re-occurrence of your Achilles Tendon injury and pain. This will allow you to get back to your usual activity levels and well-being.


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