Achilles tendonipathy is a common conditioning affecting people from all walks of life. It is characterised by pain in the achilles tendon, generally following a period of overuse.
My top 10 tips to help your achilles tendon!
- Tendons will not get better with rest only – It will ease the symptoms in the short term but it will return very quickly upon resumption of activity.
- Achilles tendons are SLOW and takes TIME to adapt.
- Anti-inflammatories are not indicated for achilles tendon pain as it is not an ‘inflammatory condition’. (In some specific cases short term use of anti-inflammatory medication may be indicated).
- Exercise therapy is key – A graded strengthening program is fundamental for recovery and return to 100% activity.
- Passive treatments should be an adjunct to your exercise rehab NOT the only treatments.
- Isometric holds provide instant pain relief – Contracting the tendon without movement and holding this for 30-45 seconds and repeating as tolerated for 3-5 sets (Eg. Calf raise holds).
- Respect tendon pain – Monitor your symptoms during exercise and immediately after exercise, as well as the the next 24-48 hours. During your rehabilitation
try to not push past a 3-4/10 pain level.
- Stop annoying it – Deloading the tendon is critical in settling down an irritated tendon. As your strength capacity increases so does your activity.
- In most cases avoid the temptation of corticosteroid injections and/or surgery.
- Stretching can irritate it – Always prioritise strength work over stretching.
Good luck managing your achilles 🙂