Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and joins the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is found at the back of a person’s lower leg. It can endure a lot of strain, but it is also susceptible to injury.
Achilles tendonitis is a very common form of injury occurring to sports persons. There could be various causes like:
- Strenuous exercise like running without proper warming-up
- Improper footwear
- Increasing intensity of exercise too quickly
- Running on hard or uneven surfaces
- Sudden introduction of hill running or staircase climbing to the exercise routine
Although it can be cured by rest but if ignored, it can cause the tendon to rupture which may require surgery.
What are signs and symptoms of Achilles tendinitis?
In my capacity as a physiotherapist, I mostly get patients coming to the clinic when they are in advanced stage. Usually, people ignore the symptoms during the onset of the injury leading to worsening of the situation. Therefore, it is very important to know the signs of the injury and act in time. The various symptoms of the injury are:
- Pain- gradual buildup of pain is the first symptom. It deteriorates with time if left untreated
- The area at the back just above the heel bone becomes sore. This is generally the point where the Achilles tendon meets the heel bone. The soreness is found just a little above this point.
- Lower leg feels stiff and pains slightly during or after running
- A bump forms around the area of Achilles tendon.
These are some of the symptoms which are generally found in a patient. However, it necessarily does not mean that if having these symptoms you are suffering from Achilles tendinitis. You should get yourself checked at your doctor’s or physiotherapist’s place.
How can Physiotherapy help?
The good thing is that if diagnosed early, then this condition can be easily treated you can recover completely and can start your daily routine. Otherwise, there is a danger of the tendon rupturing which may require surgery.
Physiotherapy can not only help in relieving pain but also helps a patient in recovering quickly and get back to his or her daily routine. Physiotherapists are trained in the use of physical exercises to strengthen muscles and improve body functions. Usually, a physiotherapist will employ a variety of techniques in the rehabilitation process like:
- Physiotherapy strapping or taping to prevent injuries
- Stretching and flexibility exercises to help the tendon heal properly without shortening or causing long-term pain
- Strengthening exercises to help the tendon regain any strength lost during the process of healing
- Massage therapy- deep massage helps in increasing the blood flow and lower leg flexibility which helps in prevention of a future injury.
The crucial thing in a quick recovery in Achilles tendinitis is the early diagnosis. So if you are suffering from one or more of the above symptoms, you should visit the nearest physiotherapist or a doctor to get it checked. At Squareone Physio, we have a team of experienced and well-trained physiotherapists in the field of sports injuries. You can book an appointment online here or can call us at 905-232-2202.