Achilles tendonitis is a very common and painful problem in the pathology of the Achilles tendon.
What is the Achilles?
The achilles is one of the most essential tendons for normal gait.
Anatomically the Achilles tendon is a long tendon with a short powerful muscle, and functionally it is designed to help us as we touch the ground by absorbing impact force particularly with forefoot striking during running and sprinting.
The tendon absorbs the energy from impact by stretching, then returns some of that stored energy during heel lift as we move forwards. It acts this way because the Achilles tendon has a certain amount of elasticity and acts a little bit like a spring.
The achilles is vital for normal push-off during the propulsive, or last, stage of gait, especially during running or climbing.
Common achilles injuries
Achilles heel pain can occur in the tendon if the stresses are not evenly applied across the tendon. This can occur with certain mechanical foot and ankle problems like hyper-pronation or over-supination of the rear-foot.
There are many different types of injury which can occur in and around the Achilles tendon ranging from:
- Superficial para-tenonitis - an inflamatory reaction of the membrane surrounding the actual tendon, to
- Achilles tendinosis - which involves the tendons deeper structures and can be more serious
It is vital that a definitive diagnosis is made in the first instance so that the most appropriate treatment plan can be organised. Knowing what the actual injury is and how it was caused (mechanically) is essential for success.
Customisable foot orthoses are very helpful for achilles injuries as they can be adjusted to provide support to the Achilles tendon during foot strike and mid-stance, and therefore relief in cases of achilles tendonitis.
Our highly engineered orthoses can be modified to give an anti-pronation or anti-supinatory force. They are unique in that they have been designed with consideration for how the centre of body mass affects the Achilles tendon by including a midfoot saddle in most of our product range.
We highly recommend patients and practitioners use our foot orthoses as a part of an overall treatment package which includes rehabilitative strengthening and stretching exercises (particularly eccentric calf drops), manual therapy and possibly electrotherapy. Footwear should always be considered as a possible aggravator and more appropriate footwear found or existing footwear altered.
Customise your treatment for Achilles Tendonitis
The added benefit with HealthyStep foot orthoses is they are easily customisable by the practitioner in the clinic and very quickly adjusted as and when the patient’s biomechanical prescription needs change.
With the correct diagnosis and treatment most cases of Achilles tendon pathology can be fully resolved.
View our Orthotics for Achilles Tendonitis
Each of our orthoses has been developed with specific medical conditions in mind. We offer primary products per condition, though several others have been found to help patients given the biomechanical engineering behind them.