Achilles tendinopathy is a frequent disorder among sedentary and recreationally active people as well as the athletic population. Achilles tendinopathy represents between 9 to 15% of the total injuries in runners.
Achilles tendinopathy presents clinically as pain on the Achilles Tendon, with localised inflammation, morning stiffness with pain, and impaired function with activities that involve loading of the tendon, such as walking, running and jumping.
Intrinsic risk factors that can contribute to Achilles Tendinopathy are obesity, lower limb muscle power/strength/endurance, recue ankle dorsiflexion, foot pronation and alignment, high cholesterol and diabetes. Extrinsic risk factors include sudden changes training loads and activity levels, footwear and training errors.
Current evidence supports a continuum if tendon pathology that has three stages:
Taking a detailed history with a focus on any changes to activity or training loads, as well as identifying any likely contributions from both intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors.
A thorough physical examination is then performed to classify the injury in-terms of the continuum of tendon pathology
Goals and Expectations are discussed and a management plan is established together.
Current evidence supports exercise therapy that addresses load management in-terms of frequency and intensity of the loading, as well as the biomechanical features of the lower limb kinetic chain, including lower limb strength, endurance and power, and gait & running assessment.
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