Achilles Tendon Injuries


The Achilles tendon is situated at the back of the lower leg from the calcaneus (heal) bone to the posterior calf muscles. Tendons connect a muscle to a bone to allow movement. The Achilles tendon is one of the strongest tendons in the body and it is used heavily in most sports, particularly those with fast, explosive actions such as sprinting and football. A partial or full rupture of the Achilles tendon may occur depending on the severity of the injury.

Causes: Leisure & sporting activities that include sprinting or pushing against a resistance tend to increase the risk of an Achilles tendon injury. Poor activity technique, a sudden increase in activity or momentary loss of balance may increase the chance of developing an injury. Lower limb biomechanical implications may also contribute to the onset of the problem.

Symptoms and diagnosis: Most sufferers experience immediate pain and loss of strength. There will be local inflammation which may involve bruising and swelling. Scar tissue may develop on the tendon which will restrict movement and cause chronic pain unless treated. If a partial rupture isn’t rested sufficiently, a complete rupture may occur after the initial injury. It is common for a ‘snapping’ noise to be heard if a full complete rupture of the tendon takes place. Clients often say, “… it was like being shot in the back of the leg”.

Management: A skilled physiotherapy will correctly diagnose the problem and help to reduce pain and inflammation and other associated symptoms. Rehabilitation will commence at the earliest opportunity to allow a return to full function. A biomechanical assessment may be necessary to investigate whether underlying biomechanical implications may have contributed to the injury.

Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.

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