Achilles tendonitis, Brighton physio explains treatment at home

Achilles tendonitis is a broad term that is used to describe a recurrent pain below the calf muscles of your leg and coming from the tendon. Sometimes more accurately called Achilles tendinopathy it is a very common injury and most sports people are curious about, whether you are an experienced athlete or someone returning to sports.

For the least experienced of us, the Achilles tendon is a band of tissue linking your calf muscles to the base of your heel. It is very strong and thick to allow you to push through your forefoot when walking, jogging, climbing stairs and doing many more activities.

Achilles tendonitis – how does it get injured and can you prevent it?

A question I am often asked is ” How do I know I have this problem and how did it come on in the first place ?” Well, in the case of Achilles tendonitis the pain slowly increases at the back of the leg and it’s often brought on by specific activities such as climbing stairs or running. If you touch the painful area you might feel thicker tissue compared to the other side. It may be warm when painful and slightly “crunchy” when you are resting.

If you have such symptoms then maybe a simple change in your routine can help you. Think about those things. Do you wear appropriate footwear on a daily basis? Did you change your exercise program or take on a new sport? Are you climbing stairs several times a day? Did you change the surface on which you do your jogging? All those can be factors which could bring on an injury.

Achilles tendonitis treatment at home?

To start with, nothing replaces the diagnosis of a healthcare professional. The following is for information only and you should still seek appropriate advice.

The main thing you should remember is that tendons like movement and activity but don’t heal if left inactive. An injury to a tendon, if not dealt with appropriately, can become a long lasting problem.

These exercises, if performed with NO PAIN, are a good start as self treatment for Achilles tendinopathy.

1. Go up on tip toes, slowly lower heels 2. Roll foot arch firmly on tennis ball 3. Back knee locked, heel on ground, lean forward

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUpcFZM-V68

How can we help Achilles tendonitis?

By making sure that Achilles tendonitis is the right diagnosis. The internet does not carry out a physical examination where as musculoskeletal specialist does. Our physio’s will be able to differentiate between several types of potential injuries affecting similar area and carry out the appropriate treatment.

After 2 weeks it is starting to get chronic. If your pain does not subside within 2 weeks then give us a call.  It is often easier to get rid of an ache or pain when it just started!

Further treatments we use for Achilles tendonitis here at Sundial in Brighton may include:-

– Deep tissue friction to the Achilles tendon will activate the renewal of the fibres.
Laser therapy will reduced any inflammation provoked by the deep tissue friction and encourage tissue healing.
Dry needling with acupuncture needles around the site of injury to activate the renewal of fibres. This can be an alternative to deep tissue friction.
– Athletics taping (rigid tape) or kinesio taping (stretchy tape) can help to off-load the Achilles tendon during its repair phase.

Quentin Guichard BSc MCSP

Physiotherapist at Sundial Clinics

Addendum:

Recent research underlines the importance of laser therapy and exercises in Achilles tendonitis

Physical therapies for Achilles tendinopathy: systematic review and meta-analysis.

Sussmilch-Leitch SP, Collins NJ, Bialocerkowski AE, Warden SJ, Crossley KM.

How a Brighton Physiotherapist Can Help With Shoulder Pain

If you are looking for a physio in Brighton to help with shoulder pain then we can help.  Shoulder pain can affect up to 1 in 3 people at some time. But how does physio help with shoulder pain? What does a physio do and how successful is it?

Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body. Unlike the hip joint which has a deep socket for the ball of the thigh bone to sit in the upper arm bone, the humerus, sits in a shallow cup. Ligaments tie the bones together. The cup is deepened by a rim of cartilage but this itself can tear and cause pain. The shoulder and chest muscles wrap around the shoulder joint to hold the bones in place as well as move the bones themselves. It is this complexity and the competing goals of flexibility and stability that make the shoulder joint a target for injury.

Physiotherapy Examination

With so many possible structures to go wrong in the shoulder, the first thing our physios do is examine and probe the tissues, testing ranges of movement and looking for restrictions  and weaknesses. Simple tests often show up where the problem is but sometimes x-rays are needed which are carried out at Sundial or we refer for MRI or ultrasound scans.

Brighton Physiotherapists

Our physios are some of the best in Brighton and are experts at diagnosing shoulder problems. Once a firm diagnosis is made then treatment can start. The treatment for shoulder problems is a partnership between you and the your physio. You may be given exercises to gently mobilise stiff joints as well the physio carrying out precise mobilisation procedures here. You may also be given muscle strengthening exercises which can work wonders at getting to the root cause of the problem as well reducing the pain signals from the injury.

Brighton Physiotherapists Secret Weapon

Our secret weapon in the treatment of shoulder injuries is our Thor laser. It is one of the few units in the whole of Sussex. Laser is remarkably effective in reducing pain and inflammation and also at  improving  healing. Studies have shown laser to be more effective than many other treatments for shoulder pain including ultrasound.

Our physios work with other practitioners where needed to bring about the quickest benefits. Sometimes bringing one of our chiropractors to work alongside can improve the outcome of treatment especially where spinal joint problems are playing a part in the shoulder dysfunction and pain.

So if you have pain in the shoulder and would like to get rid of it make an appointment to see one of the physiotherapists at our Brighton clinics. To download a free physiotherapy check certificate go here.

References

Comparison of the effects of low energy laser and ultrasound in treatment of shoulder myofascial pain syndrome: a randomized single-blinded clinical trial.

Rayegani S, Bahrami M, Samadi B, Sedighipour L, Mokhtarirad M, Eliaspoor D.

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2011 Sep;47(3):381-9.

Physiotherapy Exercises You Can Do at Home

Physiotherapy exercises from Brighton Physiotherapist, Sundial ClinicsPhysiotherapy is a therapy that makes use of physical techniques to relieve pain and increase mobility. Physiotherapists will often use exercise as a treatment. So here are a few easy physiotherapy exercises for your back, neck and feet that you can do at home to help yourself.

Tips to get the most out of these exercises.

  • Repeat each exercise at least 5 times and increase this number over time.
  • Remember quality of the movement is better than quantity, so, stay focused on the area of the body you are exercising.
  • Slow, smooth movements are best.

Physio exercises to do at home for back pain and neck pain

Physio exercises to do at home for Shoulder Impingement

More physiotherapy exercises to do at home

Back exercises. Many people go to physiotherapists with back pain. Here are two exercises that help to relieve pain and reduce stiffness in the back:

  • 1. Lie on your back with both of your legs straight. In this position, bring your left knee up close to your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Return your leg to the straight position. Repeat with the right leg.
  • 2. Stand up with your arms on your side. Bend to the left side while slowly sliding your left hand down your left leg. Come back up slowly and relax. Repeat with the right side of your body.

Neck exercises. These are great exercises if your neck is strained from staring at a computer screen all day long. Do these exercises sitting up straight in your chair and do not slouch!.

  • 1. Keep your eyes centred on one object directly in front of you, now slowly move your head back. You will now be looking at the roof. Keep your whole body still. Hold this position for 5 seconds and slowly return your head to the start position.
  • 2. Keep your eyes centred on one object directly in front of you, now slowly move your head down. You will now be looking at the floor. Keep your whole body still. Hold this position for 5 seconds and slowly return your head to the start position.
  • 3. Keep your eyes centred on one object directly in front of you, turn your head to the left, your vision should be in line with your left shoulder. Turn your head as far as you can and hold the position for 5 seconds. Slowly relax as you return your head to the start position.

Foot exercises. Do the following exercises barefoot:

  • 1. First write digits 1 to 10 using your toes raised up in the air.
  • 2. Sit on a chair, raise your toes and curl them
  • 3. Pick up a small piece of cloth off the floor using your toes.
  • 4. Still in a sitting position, point your toes and circle your ankles in a slow counter and clockwise motion.
  • 5. Stand up from the sitting position and go on tip toe for 5 seconds.

You can even do these exercises at work, so there is no excuse! You’ll be happy with the results. For more information visit our physio page by clicking here.

If you get significant pain on doing these then stop and seek our advice.