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