• Kevin Aguinaldo, PT, DPT

ACHILLES TENDONITIS: CAUSES | SYMPTOMS | TREATMENT


Achilles tendonitis is a common condition that affects the tissue connecting your calf muscle to the heel of your foot. It can occur as one of two types based on the location of pain: insertional or non-insertional. Insertional involves discomfort within the tendon-heel transition, where as the non-insertional involves discomfort further away from the heel.

Causes

Achilles tendonitis may occur from several factors:

  • Over training or sudden increase in training variables

  • Limited calf muscle length

  • Decreased ankle range of motion

  • Abnormal foot mechanics

  • Inappropriate footwear

Clinical Symptoms

You may experience:

  • Frequent stiffness in the Achilles tendon upon waking up or at the start of an activity

  • Achilles stiffness progresses to discomfort with ankle movement

  • Continued swelling of the tendon

  • Later stage will experience thickening of the tendon

Treatment

Patients with Achilles tendonitis can expect from their Physical Therapist:

  • Joint mobilizations aimed to increase ranges of motion for the ankle joint and foot joints.

  • Soft Tissue Mobilizations aimed to decrease tissue restrictions

  • Stretches and exercises consisting of eccentric re-loading of the Achilles tendon, proper foot arch activation, active range of motion movements, static and dynamic gastroc-soleus stretching, sport specific activities

  • Footwear Assessment

  • Brace - Zamst AT-1: Allows the Achilles tendon to glide in alignment and maintain proper foot motion. The AT-1 will assist in pushing the foot down and reduce the tension on the Achilles tendon.

References:

-Dutton M. Dutton's Orthopaedic Examination Evaluation and Intervention, Third Edition. McGraw-Hill Medical; 2012.

-http://zamst.us/product/at-1.5.html

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