The Achilles tendon runs from the back of the heel up to the mid portion of the back of the calf and blends with the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. It is common for this tendon to become strained, particularly in running or jumping activities. With this type of soft tissue injury the body will deposit scar tissue adhesions at and around the injured area in an attempt to heal and stabilize the area. Over time this scar tissue can build-up and interfere with the normal function of the muscles. Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis are most commonly felt over the back of the heel and lower leg during or following walking or running. Common predisposing factors to developing Achilles tendonitis include foot dysfunction such as hyper-pronation, tight posterior calf muscles, improper footwear, and overtraining.
Depending on the stage and severity of the injury, rest and ice in the initial stages is often required. Low-intensity laser therapy can be helpful during the very painful phase. Myofascial Release Technique (MRT) is very effective in addressing underlying adhesion formation not only in the tendon but in the surrounding musculature of the calf and foot as well. Sometimes kinesiotaping is used to reduce strain on the Achilles tendon. Any biomechanical dysfunction such as ankle restriction or foot dysfunction must also be addressed to ensure complete resolution of the tendonitis and to prevent future recurrences. As the pain and inflammation subside functional rehabilitation exercises must be undertaken to make certain adequate strength and endurance of the tendon and surrounding musculature is returned to pre-injury status.