Achilles Heel otherwise known as Achilles Tendonitis is a painful condition affecting the Achilles tendon, which is the tendon connecting the heel to the calf muscle. This pain can be felt during normal everyday activity and/or during exercise and sport.
Identifying Achilles Heel
Tenderness can be felt along the tendon, with or without pressure by touch and sometimes a small nodule can be felt, which is a sign of a fluid filled sac. A common reason for Achilles Tendonitis is excessive pronation (rolling in of the foot), which puts shearing and stretching forces on the tendon resulting in tight calf muscles and inflammation of the tendon. Females are very prone to this condition if they have repeatedly worn high heels, thus shortening the tendon and when flat shoes are worn the area is stretched causing soreness and pain.
Causes of Achilles Tendonitis
Tight calf muscles
A sudden increase in exercise training
Shoes which have little flexibility e.g. rigid soles
Runners who train excessively on hills and at speed
Feet that roll in (excessive pronation)
This condition can be managed effectively before it worsens and leads to chronic tendonitis.
Achilles Tendonitis Treatment – Self Help
Gently massaging the tendon and calf muscle
Not putting strain on the tendon by hill running/walking or excessive speed work.
Using a heel raiser in your shoes temporarily, until the condition subsides.
Applying cold therapy to the tendon (ice packs) to reduce inflammation.
Wearing the correct footwear and making sure the heel of the shoes is not rubbing or irritating the area.
Since overpronation is likely to be the reason for the tendonitis, prescription insoles would be highly beneficial to realign and control the foot in movement. The patient would expect a gradual improvement over a period of three to six months.
Further techniques can be used by qualified physiotherapists and practitioners, such as shock wave therapy, ultrasound and massage therapy.
If you’d like to investigate how purpose made insoles can help you, please call me for a full assessment on 07738 521042 or email me here