Achilles tendinopathy is a condition which causes swelling, stiffness, pain and weakness of the Achilles tendon and can be caused in a variety of ways, including overuse of the Achilles tendon, wearing inappropriate footwear, poor training techniques as well as having a high-arched foot or poor flexibility.
Surgery is usually undertaken in around 25% of cases and the results are often good with pain being relieved. The surgery generally focuses on removing nodules or adhesions which have developed within the damaged tendon or by cutting the tendon to encourage healing.
There is a risk that if a person has suffered from Achilles tendinopathy in one ankle that they will develop it in the other at a later date.
The Achilles’ is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body and it really doesn’t take well to being damaged.
Think of it as a thick rope, made of tiny fibres all uniformly connecting to allow the tendon to do what it needs to. When these [collagen] fibres become damaged the body springs to live, producing new ones to replace them.
But, rather like Alexis Sanchez running around a football pitch, they’re all over the place – more plate of spaghetti than bungy cord.
Sadly for most, it’s a case of ‘time heals’ but how much time is impossible to predict.
Strengthening exercises, such as heel dips, can help, but that depends on how well the Achilles is healing [no pun intended].