Dancing on my toes

Podiatric Care: Treating Achilles Tendinopathy

Your Achilles tendon attaches your heel bone to the large muscle in your calf. When scar tissue develops around this tendon, the range of movement in your foot becomes restricted. This foot problem, known as Achilles tendinopathy, can worsen with time and have a significant impact on your mobility, so it's best to seek treatment as soon as you notice a problem with your Achilles tendon. There are a number of reasons that someone can develop Achilles tendinopathy, such as taking part in high-impact exercise, poor running technique, collapsed foot arches and wearing shoes that do not offer appropriate support. Podiatrists treat Achilles tendinopathy routinely, and if you develop symptoms associated with the condition, it's wise to consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendation. 

Symptoms Of Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy can cause an immediate and obvious shooting pain that radiates from your heel, or the pain can develop more gradually. Localised inflammation tends to be a common symptom, and the inflammation can worsen if you've been on your feet for long periods. Additionally, flexing and rotating your foot will be difficult, and you may find that your range of motion is more restricted after long periods off your feet, such as when you wake in the morning.

Treating Achilles Tendinopathy

A podiatrist will diagnose Achilles tendinopathy by taking details of your symptoms and examining your foot. This will generally involve gently manipulating your foot to get a good understanding of the impact on your range of movement. After an initial examination, your podiatrist will recommend a treatment approach.

Treatment may include medication, such as anti-inflammatories, to support healing. Your podiatrist will liaise with your doctor if they think medication would be useful. Foot exercises may also be recommended. Your podiatrist will show you some targeted exercises that are designed to improve your range of movement and strengthen your foot. Additionally, your podiatrist may measure you for orthotic insoles. These made-to-measure insoles can support recovery by taking pressure off your heel and Achilles tendon. If you have collapsed foot arches, the insoles can lift and support your foot arch to ensure your Achilles tendon isn't under too much strain. Podiatric treatment methods tend to have good success rates in treating this condition, but in rare circumstances, it may be necessary to have surgery to remove the scar tissue around the Achilles tendon.

Achilles tendinopathy can hamper your ability to exercise, work and simply carry out your daily tasks. If you have symptoms associated with this condition, don't suffer unnecessarily. Contact your podiatrist for an initial assessment appointment.