What does it feel like?
Achilles tendinopathy presents as a aching pain or tightness across the back of the heel, It usually feels at its worst of a morning or after a prolonged period of rest. Sometimes after a warm up the tendon can actually feel better, but will then ache again after a cool down or the day after exercise.
How does it work?
The achilles tendon is the strong connective tissue that connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel. This allows for pushing the toes into the floor and adsorbing ground reaction forces when walking or running.
It is made up of strong fibers called collagen. Those fibers are broken down when high forces are placed on the tendon (exercise). In response to this, with enough rest time, the body lays more collagen down to replace it, plus usually a little more to prepare the body for future bouts of exercise. If this cycle is repeated the tendon can continue to get stronger and stronger.
However, when the amount of time between each bout of exercise isn’t enough, or the exercise is too much, the body will not be able to keep up, and the tendon is gradually broken down.
What can be done?
Below are a few tips on what will help/ harm an achilles tendon. A proper assessment from a physio will also help unravel some of the underlying reasons this may have arisen in the first place. A physio will also be able to guide you on the correct type and amount of exercise to perform to get better.
Things tendons like:
If you or someone you know may need a physio on the central coast to treat this condition then please do get in touch.