Achilles Tendon Injury

Young woman holding painful ankle/calfWhat is it? Achilles Tendinosis is a soreness and stiffness within the tendon that develops and worsens gradually, or a tear of the tendon from accidental injury.

Common Cause: An Achilles Tendon Injury can develop from overuse, misalignment of the foot due to tight muscles within the lower limb or improper footwear use. Rupture of the tendon can also occur either partially or completely

Common Symptoms: Pain at the back of the ankle, reduced movement and pain/swelling the symptoms are often worse first thing in the morning and after rest.

How can Physiotherapy help? It can restore strength, mobility and stability to the lower limb helping to relive overstrain of the Achilles Tendon and encourage healing.

What to expect during treatment? A full assessment of lower limb movement patterns in order to re-educate movement and establish which tissues are tight and need stretching. Strengthening exercises and mobilisation of stiff joints will also help to regain normal movement and function.  Soft tissue massage of the painful areas, education on footwear and necessary self-management exercises. Acupuncture may also be used to relieve pain and promote healing.

What can you do for yourself? In the early stages give the ankle rest, ice and elevation in order to reduce pain and swelling. Foot range of movement exercises and progressive stretching of the calf as the pain subsides.

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The Author

Lewis Payne

Lewis graduated from The University of Nottingham in 2013 with a First Class Honours in Physiotherapy, worked as Sheffield F.C.’s first team Physiotherapist, and now runs a leading-edge private clinic in Sheffield. With over ten years of experience, he specialises in manual therapy, advanced technological treatments, and exercise-based approaches, focusing on spinal and joint conditions, sports injuries, and specifically complex spinal issues like disc pathology and scoliosis. Lewis leads in IDD Therapy, performing over 6000 treatments, offers MRI referrals and reviews, and employs a holistic treatment philosophy viewing the body as a Tensegrity structure. He excels in postural analysis, soft tissue release techniques, and prescribes biomechanical corrective exercises to enhance natural movement.