Are you someone who has just started to take up running and is now suffering from constant aches and pains in the back of your legs? Has pain developed as a result of a sudden increase in activity? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be dealing with Achilles tendonitis. At Free Body Physical Therapy, we’ve helped many patients overcome this injury. Through the use of physical therapy, our team can help you get back to full strength with a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.
What Is Achilles Tendonitis?
Your Achilles tendon is a band of tissues that connects your calf muscle to your heel. When this tendon becomes irritated or inflamed, typically from overuse, Achilles tendonitis can develop. It commonly takes place in avid runners or athletes, or people that are getting back into working out, and the symptoms can worsen as more activities are performed. Examples of these symptoms include the following:
- Stiffness. (especially in the morning)
- Swelling. (but does not drive or cause the pain)
Common Causes/Risk Factors
As previously stated, the most common cause of Achilles tendonitis is overuse. This overuse tends to come from athletic activity and the constant pounding that comes along with running. However, our team warns that there are also risk factors that can be at play. Knowing these risk factors may help you avoid Achilles tendonitis and the need for sessions of physical therapy for treatment. The following are some of the risk factors that can result from this complication:
- Return to sport or running without properly loading & strengthening the tendon
- Gender (being male).
- Having flat feet or tight calf muscles.
- Training in worn-out shoes.
- High blood pressure.
Why Choose Physical Therapy?
As Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury, it’s easy to assume that staying completely immobile is your best course of action. However, this is not the case. Physical therapy utilizes both therapeutic stretches and strengthening exercises that promote healing from within an affected area. It can be used to treat many ailments, including Achilles tendonitis. During your first sessions, our staff will perform a full evaluation to help determine the levels of physical output your body can handle. Once this is done, they will begin teaching you how to perform the activities needed to get your tendon back to full strength.
The Benefits Of Physical Therapy
One of the main benefits of physical therapy is the abundance of injuries that can be treated by undergoing sessions invoking this type of care. That is why physical therapy is often recommended to patients dealing with Achilles tendonitis. However, there are other benefits to be had as well. Below are just a few examples of the ones you can reap when working with our team at Free Body Physical Therapy for help:
- Avoid the need for surgery.
- Reduces the time you spend injured.
- Mitigates the likelihood of Achilles tendonitis recurring.
- Improves strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
- Allows you to play an active role in the recovery process.
Expected Recovery Time
It’s important to remember that one session of physical therapy with our team will likely not be enough to help you make a full recovery. You must allow your body to properly heal before trying to return to physical activities. Rushing back too soon can lead to extended recovery time and may even cause your tendon to rupture. While each patient is different, most can expect it to take around 12 weeks to fully recover from Achilles tendonitis.
Free Body Physical Therapy
At Free Body Physical Therapy, our team is committed to helping patients get back to full strength, no matter the issue. Our physical therapists are well versed in Achilles tendonitis and can craft the treatment plan that brings you the optimal results. For more information on how sessions of physical therapy can help you, please contact our team today.