Have you ever felt that nasty pain at the back of your foot? Sharp pain whenever you try to push off during a run? You could be suffering a condition called Achilles Tendinopathy. This problem is more common in athletes or sports persons where a lot of jumping/ running is involved. To understand why that is and how to treat it, we must first understand what the Achilles tendon is and how it works.
The Achilles tendon is a fibrous connective tissue which attaches muscle to bone. Its main job is to provide shock absorption during impact i.e. landing after a jump, or jogging in general, but not limited to storing the energy from impact and releasing it during push off as additional power. This characteristic is what allows us to have an energy efficient gait, meaning there is no wasted energy.
Problems occur when you start to overload the tendon either with experiencing a sudden, large amount of force or a gradual build up of strain over time. In both scenarios, your body’s way to inform you that there is something wrong is to feel the pain.
By understanding the cause of the problem, it makes your recovery and treatment method a lot easier. Usually, this involves deloading/ resting the acute tendon to reduce/ control pain. Then you would gradually increase the load to the tendon as tolerated in order to build back up the durability and strength of its structure. A tendon is a load bearing structure and rehab cannot be rushed, as it requires slowly increasing the laid or strengthening. By rushing through the rehabilitation phase, you risk exposing the tendon to excessive stress pre-maturely and end up re-aggravating it. At Logan Physio, we are able to assist you in understanding how to deal with this injury to help you recover as quickly as possible.