Formally known as Achilles tendinitis, ‘itis’ meaning inflammation, but in recent years we have realised that tendons aren’t get inflamed, they suffer overuse, and a decreased tolerance to exercise, so we now call it a tendinopathy.
Are there different types of Achilles tendinopathy?
You can experience mid tendon and insertional Achilles tendinopathy (see image). Tendinopathy has three stages, a continuum, if you will. The stages are.
Because tendinopathy is a continuum, it is possible to improve a tendon with proper care.
What is it and how does it present?
Characterised by pain at the back of the heel particularly in the morning and generally the day after a run/exercise. You may be able to see a thickening of the tendon in comparison to the other Achilles.
What can happen if left untreated?
An Achilles tendon rupture can occur when the tendon is in the degeneration phase.
- Achilles tendinopathy is more common age 30+
- Its more common in men
- More common if you’re overweight
- Have tight or weak calf muscles
- If you have diabetes
- Poor endurance of calf muscles
- Poor stability of hips
- Stiff joints in foot
- Poorly supporting footwear
- Increase mileage too fast
What can be done about it?
- Ice (natural pain killer)
- Painkillers i.e. paracetamol*
- Reduce exercise load temporarily
- Stretching calf muscles
- Maintaining ankle joint mobility
- Strengthening hip complex
- Alfredson Eccentric exercises – specific tendon loading.
- Consider maintain fitness by changing to cycling swimming or aqua jogging
- Leave 48 hrs. in between runs