This is an overuse condition affecting the Achilles tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel. As a result of repetitive strain, the tendon develops microscopic tears. The ongoing overloading of the tendon means that the body can’t keep up with the repairs required and patients eventually develop pain in the tendon.
Patients usually experience pain in the back of the calf and heel that can get worse with activity. While runners are at highest risk, other sporting activities can also kickstart the problem. Contributing factors include muscle imbalances, muscle tightness, misalignment of the leg, unsuitable shoe wear, bony spurs at the back of the heel, older age, male gender and a sudden increase in training activity.
Many patients overcome the problem by adjusting training intensity and by using simple measures like rest, ice and physiotherapy. Runners may benefit from a review of their shoe wear and a video analysis of their gait. There is a small risk of tearing the Achilles tendon if the problem is left untreated. Patients who do not respond to simple treatment measures may benefit from injection treatment with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). This is made from the patient’s own blood, is safe to use and supports the body’s own healing mechanisms.
There are different ways of treating Achilles tendinitis and our experts at the Orthobiologics Clinic are happy to assess your condition and to discuss the various treatment options including injection treatment with PRP.