What Is Your Achilles Heel?

Do you love running but find your run cut short by pain in your Achilles? Or do you limp those first few steps when you get out of bed in the morning?

COVERED. asked Zach McKay at Aushealth Physiotherapy, in Brookvale, the best way forward if these sufferings sound familiar.

Did you know...
that Achilles tendon problems are the most common to affect the sporting population, runners in particular? In fact, over 60% of us will experience some form of tendon pain in our body during our lifetime. This is inconvenient, yes, but the good news is that when it is treated correctly, you can return to everything you love doing painfree.

So exactly what are tendons?
Tendons are the structures that connect our muscles to our bones. They function to transmit the force generated by the muscle into the bone to allow our joints to move, and so to move our bodies. 

What are other common tendon injuries?
Some tendon injuries have groovy names like Tennis Elbow or Golfers Elbow which give you a fair idea of contributing factors - but don’t be fooled, these injuries also occur in people who have never picked up a tennis racquet or golf club. We regularly see tendon injuries around the shoulder, in particular the infamous rotator cuff injury. Pain in the back of the hip is often just put down to hip bursitis but there is growing evidence that this is more often a tendon injury in the gluteal (bottom) muscles. 

Does this sound like you?
1.    You have this pain in one spot on the tendon.
2.    The pain goes away once you warm-up, but then progressively worsens as you continue, often causing you to stop.
3.    The pain is worst 12-24 hours after exercise. 
4.    You rest until the pain subsides.
5.    The same, specific pain on the tendon comes back.

If this repetitious cycle sounds familiar, you could have a tendon injury. 

Why me? You might ask.
There are numerous factors that predispose you to developing tendon pain, including:
•    Starting a new sport or training activity.
•    Wearing old sports shoes or changing to brand new ones.
•    Changes in training duration or intensity.
•    If you smoke or are post-menopause.
•    Increasing age. 

So what can I do?
•    Most importantly, don’t put up with it or try and push through it. The nature of a tendon injury means this will only cause further injury.
•    Activity modification – the good news is that tendons love exercise and strengthening, the difficult part is getting the load right because every person is different. 

This is where we, the physiotherapists, step in.

Our role is to prescribe a highly specialised strengthening program tailored to your specific tendon issue. This is the safest and most effective way to get you back to doing what you love. 

So, if you want more indepth information on tendons – visit our website www.aushealthphysio.com.au for our blog on tendon injuries. Don’t let injury keep you from doing what you love, give us a call on 9905 0048 or go to our website to book online. We’ll look after you.

AusHealth Physiotherapy
Brookvale House
Warringah Mall
Level 2, 1a Cross Street,
Brookvale NSW 2100

Located inside
NS Swim School
9B Green Street,
Brookvale NSW 2100

02 9905 0048 // info@aushealthphysio.com.au // www.aushealthphysio.com.au