Archive for the ‘Heel pain’ Category

Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles Tendinopathy refers to both micro tears and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. It is a common overuse injury, especially with runners and other activities with repeated loading on the Achilles tendon.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is located in the lower limb and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is the thickest and strongest tendon in the human body. There are two areas of the tendon that can be affected by Achilles tendinopathy.

a) The mid portion of the tendon due to micro tears
b) The insertion of the tendon onto the heel due to mechanical irritation

What causes Achilles Tendinopathy?

An increase in load (training volume) is usually the main cause of Achilles Tendinopathy. The other underlying factors generally include:

• Abnormal foot biomechanics (eg excessive rolling in or out or high arch)
• Calf weakness
• Calf and hamstring tightness
• Poor footwear (inadequate heel or decreased forefoot flexibility)
• Change in training surface
• Decrease in recovery time between training sessions

Signs and Symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy

• Burning pain in the Achilles at the beginning of activity which lessens during the activity and worsens afterwards
• Stiffness in the tendon first thing in the morning or at the beginning of exercise
• Tenderness, heat or swelling around the Achilles
• Thickening of the tendon

How is Achilles Tendinopathy treated?

Achilles Tendinopathy can be treated successfully by:

  • decreasing load on the tendon
  • correcting underlying foot biomechanics
  • eccentric exercises

Therapies such as soft tissue massage, electrotherapy and taping can help speed up the recovery process.

Learn more about Achilles Tendinopathy

For more information or advice regarding Achilles Tendinopathy call us on 9819 6151. We are here to help and keep you moving well.

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Is heel pain holding you back?

plantar-fasciitisA common cause of heel pain is known as Plantar Fasciitis.

The plantar fascia (PF) is a band of connective tissue on the underside of the foot that enables us to effectively push off from the ground when running or walking.

It connects from the ball to the heel of the foot.

If the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or irritated usually by overloading or overstretching you may feel heel pain.

Plantar fascia can also be irritated by a heel spur.

Signs and symptoms

The most common symptom is pain on the inside of the heel – especially on taking your first step after sitting for extended periods or in the morning.

The pain may be sharp and may be accompanied by mild swelling.

 

You may be at risk if you…

  • recently increased activities such as running that places a lot of stress on the heel bone
  • spend a lot of time standing. Occupations/activities where you are standing for long periods standing on your feet can load the Plantar fascia
  • are middle aged. As we age, muscles supporting the arch of the foot can weaken leading to an increased load on the Plantar fascia.
  • wear shoes that don’t fully support the arch of your foot eg thongs or increased periods of barefoot
  • are overweight. An increase in weight places a greater mechanical load on the Plantar Fascia
  • are pregnant. An increase in weight combined with hormonal changes and swelling can increase the mechanical load on the Plantar Fascia

You may also be at risk if your foot has …

  • poor foot biomechanics eg, excessive foot pronation
  • either a flat or excessively high arch – both put strain on the Plantar Fascia

There are treatments

The good news is that there are many treatments that are highly effective for managing plantar fasciitis. These include:

  • manual therapy to correct foot biomechanics and reduce the load on the Plantar Fascia
  • foot taping and/or orthosis
  • stretching and strengthening muscles contributing to the mechanical loading

Are you experiencing heel pain?

If you are currently experiencing ongoing heel pain, which is worse in the mornings or post activity, don’t hesitate to call us on 9819 6151.

At Strive Physio we not only treat your symptoms but will correct any underlying causes to get you moving well again for the long term.

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