The Achilles tendon, often referred to as the body's strongest and largest tendon, is a remarkable structure that plays a pivotal role in our daily movements. Situated at the back of the ankle, this tendon connects the powerful calf muscles to the heel bone, enabling actions as simple as walking or as dynamic as sprinting. Understanding the Achilles tendon is the first step in appreciating its significance in mobility and overall physical well-being. Join us in exploring the anatomy and function of this remarkable tendon, and learn how to keep it strong and injury-free.

This tendon is prone to micro-tears and inflammation (thickening). Which causes pain with movement and at rest, decreased range of motion and even swelling. 


Often time the gastrocnemius muscle is tight and tender in addition to the tendon. Helping to improve the function of the gastrocnemius muscle, as well as muscles up the kinetic chain. 

Physical Therapy for Achilles pain relief

 

Upon assessing your mobility, strength, tissue tension, and tenderness, your physical therapist will carefully identify any additional components that require attention. Once a comprehensive evaluation of your Achilles is complete, they can proceed with developing a personalized treatment plan. 

Achilles tendon on woman walking

Achilles tendonitis treatment

To alleviate tension in the gastrocnemius muscle, manual therapy techniques can be employed. These techniques, such as massage, dry needling, and trigger point release, are effective in targeting muscle knots and trigger points. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure optimal movement in the foot and ankle joints, which may involve joint mobilizations performed by your therapist to enhance mobility.

Next, it is beneficial to focus on targeting the Achilles tendon directly in order to alleviate any irritability and inflammation that may be present.

Exercises to Relieve Achilles Tendonitis

To address Achilles pain, incorporate eccentric loading exercises, which involve controlled lengthening of the muscle. An example is a controlled descent from a raised heel during a single leg exercise. Mastering this form of muscle contraction effectively targets the Achilles tendon and promotes healing.

Achilles tendon treatment

 

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