Achilles Tendinopathy; initial stage tips for treatment
Achilles tendinopathy has been well researched over the last ten years and while there is an ever-growing body of evidence around initial tendinopathy treatment, it is still sometimes not well executed for the patient.
A common misconception in treating tendinopathies is to cease all activities involving the tendon and unload the limb in an attempt to improve the condition. Unfortunately, this method does not aid in the repair of the tendon nor does it help build tendon resilience. In fact, this approach can decrease the load resilience of the tendon.
The length of the initial phase can vary in time because some individuals respond better and their pain levels subside quickly while others take longer to respond. The key focus in the initial phase is about pain relief, which is often achieved through the use of isometric exercise and the administration of NSAIDS.
To help you manage the initial stage of Achilles tendinopathy, some easy to follow recommended isometric exercise illustrations can be found below. Additionally a simple to follow guide on characteristics, time frame, strength modality, and frequency and prescription exercise example for this initial stage rehabilitation is also shown below.
| Initial Phase
|| Time Frame
|| Key Strength Modality
|| Prescription Example
| Phase 1
|| Acute / Protective
- Pain / Stiffness upon wakening
- Pain on palpation
- Pain during activity
- Difficulty performing 10 calf raises
| 0-2 weeks
- Single leg Isometric Hold (Heel off step)
- Body weight x20-40 sec x3 sets