1. What is causing the pain and how did I get it?
This is a stress injury to the tendon of the calf muscles. (A tendon is the structure at the end of every muscle that attaches the muscle to the bone). Then Achilles tendon can be over stressed in sports that requires a lot of jumping or running. It is often a result of compensation or underconditioning. Ie the calf muscle is not strong enough to handle the demands of that particular sport. The stress tendon basically undergoes a slow painful degradation process which if severe enough can cause tendon rupture.
2. How can physiotherapy help?
Patient sometimes present to us in an acute stage (pain is intense and affects walking) or chronic stage (pain comes on during a run and limits the run)
Acute stage: Physiotherapy helps in terms of pain management such as:
- Advice on medication or anti-inflammatory patches
- Shockwave to affected muscles
- Foot wear modification
Chronic stage: The Physiotherapist will help you figure out the cause overloading the tendon. Treatment will include:
- Release of tight and overuse muscles with Shockwave Therapy
- Running Gait Analysis
- Correction of walking, climbing running gait/posture
- Recruitment of specific foot posture +/- orthotics
- Activation and strengthening of specific lower limbs muscles
3. How can I help?
Early recognition and treatment will reduce down time. Once it is in the chronic stage, the pain can be quite recalcitrant.
4. How long will it take to recover? (ie. prognosis)
Acute stage may take 3 to 6 weeks to settle. For a chronic condition, patient is key, recovery may take 3 months or more