The Achilles tendon sits at the back of your heel and is also the thickest tendon in your body. A lot of the time if someone asks about ankle pain, it tends to be related to this tendon. In fact this is a common question we get asked by patients visiting our clinic for the first time. “Why does my achilles’ pain keep coming back?” In fact a few weeks ago I had a new patient with that very same question.
The patient is a very keen runner and needed to get fit for a sponsored run. Although he knew that he was “running” out of time, frustratingly hindered by this Achilles’ tendon pain that had stopped him from training. He’s had some other physiotherapy treatment in the past, 1 or 2 sessions here and there to ease the tendons. It worked for a while however shortly after the pain returned and he felt like he was back to square one.
Sound familiar? I thought so!
The reason for this patient’s Achilles’ tendon pain coming back AND the reason for many individuals having recurrences of this pain, is that the ROOT cause was not identified! In this case the root cause was the patients foot position. “But how can foot position affect your Achilles’ tendon?” I hear you ask. Well your feet are literally the foundations of your body, and as with a houses foundations, if they are not strong, cracks will appear. In the same way if your feet are not in the correct position, more stress will be going through certain parts of your body (Achilles’ tendon) and you get pain. It was identified through a thorough assessment that the patient was actually rolling over on one foot (foot arch dropped) too much. When this happens the Achilles’ tendon is put under more stress over time, getting tighter and tighter and rubbing more and more behind the heel. Ultimately it becomes very sore!
It’s really no surprise that this pain kept coming back!! The root cause of this patient’s pain was corrected with prescription orthotics (customized insoles) being placed into each shoe, to lift the arch of the foot up. A treatment plan was also designed to reduce the pain immediately, get the patient stronger, more flexible and ensure they can run without fear of this coming back again. So make sure to have YOUR root cause identified so that you can get back to all activities comfortably and worry free!
For more tips like this to help ease ankle pain, feel free to contact us, we would love to help you in any way we can!
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