Achilles Tendon Pain

Achilles tendon pain can develop with a sudden injury, but most often it develops over a period of time, with no obvious reason. The pain can be worse in the morning and after sitting for a long time. Sports activities such as running will make it worse. Achilles tendon pain can be present as a dull background ache and often there can be swelling and tenderness around the tendon.

We know that the Achilles tendon is a complex group of tendons and muscles. These combined with the ankle joint need to work in the correct biomechanical pattern or you can develop a tendonitis and Achilles tendon pain.

The Achilles tendon requires a strong stable base to function. This base is usually provided by your knees, hips and abdominal muscles. Pain, inflammation and wear and tear will develop if you keep using your Achilles tendon while it is injured. This in turn causes you to develop poor movement patterns. You will develop altered walking and running styles. This in turn creates a “muscle imbalance,” reinforcing your poor gait causing further pain and inflammation, often in your knees and hips.

This poor walking/ running style (gait) or poor biomechanics will become a habit and you will be consistently in pain. If you keep this “bad habit” you will continue to aggravate and irritate the tendon and your pain will persist and will potentially get worse.

Treatment of your Achilles tendon will make you feel better. However, if you have the pain treated (massage, mobilization, medications, acupuncture), but do not correct your gait, your biomechanics and strength deficits, you are only receiving a “temporary relief” from your pain, and it is likely that your pain will reoccur. This is only short-term relief, and not a long-term solution.

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