Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy is one of the more common heel injuries and can be really sore! It is another one that can linger for a while if left untreated, so it is really important to get it seen to asap! 

Here, Shane Brennan, chartered physiotherapist at Mid West Physiotherapy with a clinical interest in foot disorders, takes a look at this painful condition and advises you on the best approach to resolving it.


Why do my heels hurt? 

While there can be many reasons for heel pain in runners and non-runners alike, one of the main causes for posterior heel pain is Achilles tendinopathy. Achilles tendinopathy occurs when the tendon at the back of your lower leg is excessively loaded, causing pain, impairing the natural repair response and eventually – if untreated – some changes to the structure of the tendon. 


How common is it? 

Disorders of the Achilles tendon rank among the most frequently reported overuse injuries. While it is more common in runners (occurring in up to 10% of the running population), it can happen in non-runners also.  It most commonly occurs during or after periods of rapid increase in training load.  


Why does it happen?  

There are several risk factors for developing Achilles tendinopathy. Rapid increase in training load, certain foot postures and weakness in the muscles around the hip can all contribute to Achilles pain. Your physiotherapist will be able to provide a full assessment to determine the exact cause in your case.  


What can I do today to ease my pain? 

  1. Review your training load for the past few weeks/months 
  2. Continue exercising within a pain free/low pain range (4-5/10) 
  3. Some people report benefits from ice & anti-inflammatories  
  4. Book in to see your physiotherapist who will conduct an assessment & advise a suitable training program 


Will I have to stop running?  

Generally, people with Achilles tendinopathy should not stop running completely. In some cases, a short period of rest may be advised, but the goal of treatment should be to return to low level loading as soon as possible.  


Can I book an appointment with you?

Yes! If you would like us to assess your  heel pain and give you a tailored recovery plan, you can book an appointment with us online, or your can contact our Reception by ringing 061-201444 or emailing

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