Achilles Tendonitis and How Physical Therapy Can Help

Achilles Tendonitis is an injury of the achilles tendon typically due to overuse or an introduction of a new activity. The gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles make up the calf complex at the lower leg to create the Achilles Tendon which inserts to the calcaneus (heel bone). This diagnosis typically occurs with the sudden increase in repetitive activities that put excessive stress on the achilles. The tendon therefore is unable to recover between activity which results in pain.

Symptoms associated with Achilles Tendonitis:

  • Shooting, burning, and/or pin point pain at achilles or insertion point at heel
  • Stiffness
  • Increased pain in mornings
  • Pain with sports related activities, stairs, or walking

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis:

  • Increased over-pronation of foot
  • Overuse
  • Mobility deficits in ankle
  • Improper shoe selection
  • Not properly warming up before activity
  • Short Achilles Tendon
  • Trauma
  • Elevated BMI
  • Weakness in ankle

How can Physical Therapy help

Physical therapy has been shown to greatly improve symptoms as well as prevent achilles tendonitis. Red Canyon offers multiple interventions to help with the management of this diagnosis. Some of these interventions include exercises to focus on strengthening specific weakness in the ankle/foot, manual therapy and soft tissue massage to decrease stiffness and pain,Trigger Point Dry Needling to gastroc/soleus, and progressive graded return to activities.

If you are suffering from any of the above mentioned symptoms it is extremely important to set up an appointment to be properly diagnosed and to prevent further injury. A thorough examination is needed to identify specific deficits in each individual and to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan in order for the patient to return to full function.