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May 10, 2014

Tips to Prevent Achilles Tendinopathy

By Dr. Khaled Dossa, DC

 

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that arises when there is microtrauma to the tendon at the back of the lower leg which results in pain and inflammation.  The muscles in the calf are under constant load on the squash court and if there is chronic irritation to the tendon an accumulation of scar tissue may develop.  If the scar tissue is not treated, you may have chronic pain and potentially causing more wear and tear on the tendon.

Signs and symptoms to look for if you have Achilles tendinopathy:

• Symptoms usually develop insidiously and tend to get progressively worse over time.
• Tenderness is localized at the Achilles tendon and there may be thickening of the tendon.
• Pain can occur when lunging or reaching for the ball

How can you prevent this from occurring?

  • Stretch – Start with a good warm up to get the blood flowing to the tissues of your legs followed by stretching of the calf and hamstrings
  • Strengthen – Perform eccentric heel drops. Start with your toes on the edge of a stair and go up on two feet and come down on one foot.  Work your way up to 3 sets of 20 repetitions
  • Correct the mechanics – poor technique/poor footwear/flat feet may be contributing to the problem.  Get advice from the club pro and your health care practitioner
  • Rest and Ice – Give your body time to recover by resting the Achilles tendon.  Placement of ice on the tendon three times a day for duration of 15 minutes is an effective way of controlling irritation

Be sure to get assessed by a healthcare professional in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis as there are many conditions which may affect the calf and its surrounding structures.

 

Article by Dr. Khaled Dossa, Chiropractor and ART Provider at Teamworks Health Clinic, a multi-disciplinary clinic in the heart of Vancouver offering Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Dietetics and more.  For more information visit www.teamworkshealth.ca or call 604-428-3006

Our collective of highly qualified and accredited healthcare practitioners share a passion for professional collaboration and comprehensive patient care. Come and meet us at the clinic.