Pain in the Achilles tendon can occur from a complete or partial tear to the tendon and can become irritated, without tearing, causing pain and physical limitations. Pain may occur where the tendon inserts into the bone or in the midportion of the tendon. The tendon is typically tender to touch in patients who Achilles issues.
Treatments include the following:
- Exercises to mechanically load the Achilles tendon.
- Stretching to improve ankle flexibility and thus better disperse the stress placed on the Achilles tendon. Special attention should be placed on dorsiflexion (your ankle’s ability to draw your toes back towards your shins.
- Addressing lower extremity impairments that may lead to abnormal movement.
- Manual therapy to improve the mobility of the ankle and increase soft tissue mobilization to decrease pain and to better disperse the stress placed on the Achilles with walking.
- Activity modification to assure patients can participate in everyday and recreational activities despite pain.
- Review of shoe wear.
- Dry needling to reduce muscle tension.
- Martin, Robroy L. et al. “Achilles Pain, Stiffness, And Muscle Power Deficits: Midportion Achilles Tendinopathy Revision 2018.” Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Vol. 48, No. 5, 2018, pp. A1-A38. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT), https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2018.0302.