The Physio Hub

Achilles Tendinopathy Rehabilitation

What is Achilles Tendinopathy?

Achilles Tendinopathy is an overuse injury causing degenerative changes within the achilles tendon. The achilles tendon in the tendon which attaches the calf muscle to the heel and is mainly involved in the pointing of the foot, for example; standing on your toes.

Which population experiences Achilles Tendinopathy?

Anyone can experience achilles tendinopathy. The onset of symptoms typically occurs gradually from a change in your physical activity and is common in runners.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain at your heel or along your achilles tendon
  • Stiff and sore in the morning
  • Pain that worsens with activity
  • Swelling or thickening of the tendon
  • Pain with going up on your toes or when stretching the achilles

What is the best way to rehab my Achilles Tendinopathy?

The gold standard for Achilles tendinopathy rehab has changed over the years, currently the evidence is in support of Heavy Slow Resistance Training.

What is Heavy Slow Resistance Training?

Heavy slow resistance training focuses on completing exercises in a controlled manner and increasing the timed under tension. With each exercise they encourage you to take 6 seconds- 3 seconds for the concentric phase (1st half of the movement) and 3 seconds for the eccentric phase (2nd half of the movement).

The programme also consists of a high number of reps which decreases over the weeks with the aim of increasing the load through the amount of weight.

The exercises typically included for the achilles programme are:

Exercise 1. Standing Heel Raise

Load the bar across your shoulders, and push up on to your toes. It is beneficial to have your toes on a step for full range of movement.

Exercise 2. Seated Heel Raise

Start sitting, place a bar across your knees. Using a smith machine works best, or balance weights on your knees. Raise up on your toes. It is beneficial to have your toes on a step for full range of movement.

There are alternatives to these exercises and this program that can be used at home and with different equipment. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.