Achilles tendon pain and how to treat it, by Gordon at Bolton Therapy Centre
12th December 2013
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In their second blog looking at different injuries to the feet and how to treat them, Gordon from Bolton Therapy Centre today looks at the Achilles tendon.

We’re probably all familiar with the Achilles because many footballers seem to suffer with problems from it. It’s the tissue that attaches the back of the heel with the calf muscles, the soleus and gastrocnemius. The purpose of the Achilles is to store energy and give speed and efficiency whilst you are walking, jumping and running.

Previously injuries to the Achilles were called tendonitis (an inflammatory response) or tendonosis (degenerative change) or perhaps even rupture or partial tear. However Achilles injuries are now called tendonpathy, because there was confusion when identifying different injuries on ultrasound and MRI scanning.

People who have a higher chance of getting an Achilles tendonopathy are those who exercise regularly and take part in competitive sport. People who develop tendonopathy that don’t exercise usually have either underlying diseases or a genetic disposition to it (most common in patients under the age of 14)

Other factors include how much weight is carried through the tendon, how regular weight is passed through it and a far less common, the frequency in change of weight (although it can cause the most pain)

If you suffer from tendonopathy, the symptoms you will experience are

  • a pain in the middle of the tendon
  • increased pain in the tendon after exercise,
  • infrequent pain when you carry more weight,
  • stiffness and pain in the mornings and
  • discomfort and pain after getting out of bed.


If you’re not sure you have these symptoms it could be another part of your foot giving you pain, although the pain from an Achilles and pathology of the Achilles aren’t connected and injury is often not proportionate to the amount of pain involved.

Physiotherapy, which Bolton Therapy Centre offer, helps Achilles tendonopathy because it addresses the cause of the pain. The staff do soft tissue massage and mobilisation of the ankle which increase the amount of movement in the foot and therefore decrease pain.

Exercise rehabilitation is a strengthening programme that improves function and lowers the amount of pain.

One of Bolton Therapy Centre’s philosophies is exercise and this is crucial for managing tendonopathy. It can help address lower leg biomechanics and kinetic chain functions for patients. Their exercise programmes have been developed by leading researchers and have been shown to reduce pain, improve performance and incorporate resistance.


About the Author

Rachel B

Member since: 5th July 2012

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