Heal Pain when walking & running – Achilles Tendonitis
July 19, 2016
If you suffer from burning or piercing pain into the tendon above the heel bone of your foot, then you may be suffering from a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is a condition where the large tendon of the lower leg which attaches to the heel bone becomes inflamed and sore. This leads to burning shooting pain occurring during walking and running activities that cause stress to the tendon. Indeed burning pain can be felt when getting out of bed in the morning time or when walking after been seated for a prolonged period.
Achilles Tendonitis can commonly be caused by a sudden increase in walking or running activity coupled with tight inflexible calf muscles. This leads to the Achilles tendon becoming stressed resulting in the development of micro tears in the fibrous treads of the tendon. These tiny tears can harden and swell overtime leading to a hardening of and poor elasticity in the Achilles tendon. On movement the tendon is then stressed, producing this burning shooting pain.
Factors that can bring about Achilles Tendonitis include:
Sudden increased running activity.
Many years of running / walking with tight calf muscles and restricted ankle joints.
Running / walking on road surfaces
Weakness in calf muscles
Poor footwear or a change of footwear
Excessive falling inwards of the foot (pronation) when walking or running.
Signs & Symptoms:
Stiffness felt in the morning when getting out of bed. Stiffness can also be felt before or after walking or running session.
Tenderness can be located on one side of the Achilles tendon
Swelling may or may not be present
Pain may be severe or minor and occur suddenly or in other cases occur gradually
Patient can often locate a nodule or lump within the tendon.
Treatment & Management of Achilles Tendonitis
Patients who attend my clinic with Achilles Tendonitis are instructed to ice the tendon on several occasions throughout the day. A small heel raise is often inserted in their shoe in order to reduce the tensile stress on the tendon when walking thus allowing healing to occur. Treatment to stretch out the tightened calf muscles is essential coupled with mobilisations to the restricted joints of the foot and ankle. The next step to fully rehabilitating the Achilles tendon involves the patient undergoing a series of graded eccentric strengthening. These exercises should be performed under the guidance of your Physical therapist.
Next week I will discuss a further painful heel condition called Plantar fasciitis.
Tomás Ryan is a Registered Physical Therapist with The Irish Association of Physical Therapy and is based in Thurles.
Contact Number: 086 3275 753
Email your queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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