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Achilles Tendinopathy

Overview

Achilles tendinopathy (or Achilles tendonitis) is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the thick band of tissue that connects your calf muscles at the back of the lower leg, to the back of your heel bone. It occurs most commonly in individuals who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their activities, which over-stresses their Achilles tendon causing pain. 

Achilles tendinopathy can affect the insertion (where the tendon attaches onto the back of the heel bone) or the midportion (the middle) of the tendon. It is often treated with rest, proper footwear, and stretching and strengthening of the foot, ankle and calf muscles. We can also help with progressive treatment such as shockwave therapy. 

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About Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy typically presents with pain and tenderness at the back of the heel while standing and walking. Pain and stiffness can be the worst with the first few steps in the morning out of bed. As you start moving, the pain usually decreases but worsens after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting. Symptoms are more severe after prolonged running and stair climbing.

What causes it?

Achilles tendinopathy is caused by repetitive intense strain on the Achilles tendon. This tendon is used when you walk, run, jump or go onto your tip-toes.

Risk factors:

  • Age. The structure of the Achilles tendon also weakens with age, which makes it more susceptible to injury.
  • Activity. Activities that place high stress and load on your Achilles tendon can contribute to the onset of Achilles tendinopathy. These activities commonly require a high amount of jumping and change of direction such as basketball, tennis, volleyball.
  • Training load. A sudden increase in your training load increases your risk of an Achilles tendon injury due to overload. Running on hilly, uneven terrain can also pre-dispose you to an Achilles injury.
  • Medications. Prolonged and high steriod use and certain types of antibiotics, called fluroquinoloes, have been associated with high rates of Achilles tendinopathy

How We Help

To prevent and manage Achilles tendinopathy, we can help you with the following:

  • Activity modification and training advice. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your training and activity levels. Sharp increases in duration and intensity of high impact and jumping activities can lead to overuse of your Achilles tendon resulting in injury. We can identify training errors and assist in returning you back to your desired activity if you have Achilles tendinopathy.
  • Choosing the right shoes. We can advise you on suitable and appropriate footwear to suit your individual biomechanics and reduce strain and pressure on your Achilles tendon. Shoes with a higher drop and a wider heel collar tends to alleviate pain associated with Achilles tendinopathy.
  • Strengthening and mobilising of your Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Stronger and more resilient calf muscles enable the calf and the Achilles tendon to better withstand the load and stress with increased activity and exercise. Foam rolling to reduce the adhesions in your calf muscles would allow better flexibility and reduced strain in your Achilles tendon
  • Analyse your walking and running movement. A formal video analysis of your walking and running gait can help identify movement patterns that contribute to Achilles tendinopathy. If you’re a runner, small alterations in your running technique can help alleviate pain and prevent recurrence.
  • Shockwave therapy. Acoustic sound waves directed at the area of the Achilles tendon pain to stimulate healing. Studies have shown that this is an effective treatment for Achilles tendinopathy. In general, this is for chronic Achilles tendinopathy that has not responded to more conservative treatment.

In the rare cases that your symptoms do not respond to conservative care in the long term, further treatment with injections or surgery can help.

Let us help you with your Achilles Tendinopathy!

Information For First-time Clients

First time making an appointment with us? Read on!

What to expect at your Podiatry appointment

Your Podiatry appointment will include:

  • Listening: We listen to understand you, your activities, your challenges, and its impact on your life
  • Precise and informed diagnosis: We work with your referring doctor or healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis of your condition. We may also recommend diagnostic imaging like X-ray, MRI, ultrasound or further tests.
  • Addressing root causes: we alleviate your pain and tackle the underlying reasons for your condition.
  • Tailored management plan: We provide you with a personalised management plan, outlining your goals, diagnosis, timeline and care.

We are dedicated to empowering you towards an active and fulfilling life.

What to bring to your Podiatry appointment

  • Referral: A doctor’s referral is not required to see our Podiatrists. Though if you have one, please bring it along.
  • Footwear: Your regular footwear for work, exercise, and play. They help us understand you and your activities.
  • Previous results: If you have had imaging/ investigations, please bring the results with you.
  • Orthotic devices: If you have current or previous orthotics, please bring them along.
  • Clothing: We will get you to do some walking and activity as part of your assessment. Please dress appropriately if possible.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us prior to your appointment.

Visit Us

All are welcome!

Podiatry Quest – Holland Grove

Appointment basis; please reach out!

Free on-site parking

Bus 92 from Bouna Vista MRT

Monday: 9am – 6pm
Tuesday: 2pm – 6pm
Wednesday: 9am – 6pm
Thursday: 9am – 6pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 12pm-4pm (alternate weeks)
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

Podiatry Quest – Novena

Appointment basis; please reach out!

We are at Novena Square, just at the lift landing on level 3

Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: closed
Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm (alternate weeks)
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

Podiatry Quest – Harbourfront

Appointment basis; please reach out!

Lift lobby B provides easiest access to us

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9am – 1pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

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