Physical Therapy for Achilles Tendon
What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis, also referred to as Achilles tendinitis, is a common overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue connecting your calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. When the band of tissue is strained, most commonly as a result of sports involving running, it can become inflamed and painful. In many cases, Achilles tendonitis can be treated conservatively with hands on treatment and a personalized exercise program.
What causes Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is generally caused by overuse or degeneration of the Achilles tendon. Because the tendon is used to help you perform many everyday activities – including walking, running, standing on your toes, and jumping – the more often you do these movements, the more strain that is put on the Achilles tendon. When these activities are performed repeatedly over time, or if you quickly increase your activity level (e.g. the length or duration of a run) without giving your body time to adjust, the Achilles tendon can become inflamed, resulting in Achilles tendonitis.
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis will vary from patient to patient. Typically, the condition will begin as mild pain that increases over time, especially following strenuous activity. The symptoms associated with Achilles tendonitis may include the following:
- Pain in the back of the leg that begins as mild, but may increase over time
- Pain above the heel
- Pain that increases with intense physical activity, such as running
- Discomfort in the Achilles tendon, including tenderness or stiffness
- Pain that increases in the morning or after periods of rest
Do I need PT for Achilles tendonitis?
Many cases of Achilles tendonitis can be treated with non-operative care, which often includes rest and physical therapy. In more severe cases, or for degeneration that ultimately leads to an Achilles tear, surgical repair may be necessary. No matter how severe your Achilles injury is, our team of practitioners at EPTG can support your needs during recovery. We approach our patient programs with hands-on and personalized Achilles tendonitis exercises that utilize the latest techniques. Together, we can help you regain your mobility and get you back to the activities you love.