Achilles Heal!

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Ok, following the previous blog dealing with the terms 'itis' and 'pathy' I promised I would take a look at Achilles tendon issues this time around, so here goes. 😀

When people come to see us at The Reinge Clinic with Achilles issues they will usually have been diagnosed with one of two things: Achiles Tendonitis or Achilles Tendonosis. Many of or clients are either confused by the term or have been led to believe they are the same thing. It is important to be aware these are in-fact, related, yet completely different issues. Often and quite rightly the client has tried to self treat before seeking help, often the self treatment has unwittingly, exacerbated the problem.

As we mentioned previously the term ‘itis’ means inflammation, therefore tendonitis literally means inflammation of a tendon. Tendonosis refers to a more chronic issue of poor healing or repetitive trauma, resulting in loss of strength of the collagen fibres and further injury when used. As a rule, inflammation is not usually present with Tendonosis.

Now you know which is which, this becomes useful, because if you are going to try and treat yourself you need to be aware that some of the the treatment for tendonitis can actually make tendonosis worse!🤔

In short, both will respond well to ice, relative rest and a visit to your therapist for appropriate rehabilitation exercises. BUT, if you intend to take anti-inflammatory 'medicines' then DO NOT do this in cases of tendonosis. This is quite simply due to a side effect of anti-inflammatory medicines (which are useful in tendonitis) in that research suggests that they can actually inhibit collagen repair; collagen being one of the main structural materials in soft tissue, including muscle and tendons.

Other than this the treatment for Tendonitis and for Tendonosis is largely the same!

- Break the injury cycle: Identify the cause and remove it, this could be a running gait pattern.

- Reduce stress on the tendon with a decent sports massage.

- Finally: Prevent reoccurrence by correcting the biomechanics.

Hopefully this may provide a little clarity, if you have ever, or are suffering from either of these these, in the best way to get the healing process started prior to seeking further help . 😊

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