So you have Achilles Tendon Pain? And I'm going to tell you to load it... you think I'm crazy right?

Chris Bishop9th of April 2018www.thebiomechanicslab.com.au / blog / general / achilles-pain

So you have Achilles tendon pain? And I’m going to tell you to load it…you think I’m crazy right?!

 

It can happen to anyone. You don’t have to be a regular runner to get it. Likewise it’s not about being over-weight. It’s about managing the load that you apply on your body and ensuring that your body can handle it.

Achilles tendinopathy is one of the most common presentations of leg pain podiatrists see in practice. Whether you run or walk for exercise, think of the pain being a result of overuse, in that your exercise volume or intensity has exceeded.

 

So what predisposes someone to be at risk of Achilles tendinopathy?

  • Strength is a big factor. Your calf muscles are responsible for delveloping the power required to move your body forward. If they aren’t strong enough to handle this step after step, they will be required to do more work, fatigue quicker and ultimately results in development of pain, stiffness and swelling.
  • The structure and function of your foot has a big role to play. 
  • You need to manage your load and the stress placed on the muscles and tendon. If you do too much and don’t allow the tendon to recover, you will develop pain and symptoms.

 
Is it ok if my tendon is painful?

 Tendons adapt to load and yes that means that when you load the tendon, this can come with some pain. As much as we expect tendon pain to get less the more you load them, its important that you monitor your pain and get the help when you need it. My general rule of thumb is a maximum of 4/10 pain on a 10-point scale. Any more and you need to being seeing a well educated Sports Podiatrist.

 
What do I do if the pain gets too much or I can’t exercise?

 This is a sign that your tendon is not responding and you likely need some professional advice. You need to book a time with a sports podiatrist who understands tendon pain, so that they can help you towards your recovery.

 Give us a call at The Biomechanics Lab on 8364 6800 and make a time to see one of our experienced sports podiatrists.


At The Biomechanics Lab,
we have a firm view that we need to load your tendons to a capacity you can handle, and have a program in place that will progress your rehabilitation to the point you no longer have pain and can return to exercise and/or sport.


Our approach is based on a 5-phase treatment program that will:

  1. Identify your problem and make a diagnosis as to what is causing your pain
  2. Implement a short-term management plan to reduce the intensity of your pain and symptoms
  3. Take the time to understand the cause of your pain so we can design an effective treatment program
  4. Implement a strength and conditioning program to ensure you can handle the loads placed on your Achilles tendon when you exercise or play sport
  5. Implement a return to sport program that not only gets you back to sport and exercise, but keeps you there and minimises your chance of re-injury

 

 

Dr Chris Bishop PhD
Director of The Biomechanics Lab