Achilles Tendinopathy and Shockwaveadmin
Studies have shown that for Achilles Tendinopathy Exercise rehabilitation combined with Shockwave Therapy gives even more superior results than exercises alone !
The Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are energy-absorbing and energy-releasing structures that are working throughout each stride. They absorb the load as your foot impacts the ground (loads are often 3 times your body weight) and convert the energy to propel yourself during the push-off phase of
a stride (where forces are as high as 7 times your body weight). The Achilles tendon and calf muscle are therefore an essential unit, critical for efficient and effective running. The Achilles tendon is prone to overuse purely by the
nature of its function. Pain occurs because of weakness or dysfunction in the tendon rather than what was previously thought to be an inflammatory reaction. This can be a challenging area to treat due to the tendon’s poor perfusion (blood flow), which may need longer recovery periods, so it’s best to tackle this injury at the earliest point possible.
- Pain close to the heel, which is often sharp, poking and incapacitating.
- Pain along the Achilles tendon, at the back of the lower leg.
- Occasionally there can be mild swelling at the base of the tendon (near the heel) and redness.
- If you pinch the Achilles and it’s very sore, then the source of the problem is likely to be the tendon.
- Pain during and after running (Stop! This is not an injury you can run through)
- In chronic cases there can be thickening or a thickened ‘lump’ along the tendon, especially when compared to the uninjured leg.
The Achilles tendon is the extension of the calf muscles, gastrocnemius and soleus, where it attaches to the back of the heel and is responsible for plantarflexion (pointing your toes). Sometimes. excessively tight, weak calves are the culprit. Tight lower legs put added strain on the Achilles tendon, and over the course of many months of hard training, this overuse injury can develop.
A weak posterior chain (the muscles that work together along the back of your body including the back extensors, gluteus muscles, hamstrings, calves) can also be a cause of Achilles tendinopathy. Constantly running on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt can contribute to developing Achilles tendinopathy as the loads absorbed by the tendon are greater than running on grass or dirt roads.
Unsupportive footwear can overburden the Achilles tendon with time, as it must work even harder to control ankle movement whilst running. Worn out shoes or shoes with inadequate cushioning can exacerbate Achilles tendon issues as they add no benefit in absorbing load during heel strike.
Rapid increase in volume and/or intensity of training can have the same effect much more quickly, so it’s important to pay attention to both your feet and your sessions—especially when you’re training hard. Severe pronation, foot instability, a leg- length discrepancy and muscle asymmetries can also contribute to Achilles pain.
Exercise-based rehabilitation is the best treatment for tendon pain. A progressive strength and endurance program, moving to more spring like exercises will give the right loads on the tendon and the best long term results.
In recent years the Shockwave therapy has been used by top European football (soccer), Top world Rugby and AFL clubs to treat muscular and tendon problems with great success.
It is clinically proven that shockwaves , when applied to injured tissues, stimulate metabolic reactions:
- Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibers
- Decrease neurogenic inflammation, stimulates production of growth factors
- Beginning of healing process triggered by stem cells activation
Studies have shown that Exercise rehabilitation combined with Shockwave Therapy gives even more superior results than exercises alone.
We had a lot of success treating tendon with that approach.
If you are not sure Shockwave is an appropriate course of treatment, click below to complete a free, confidential