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The Achilles tendon is crucial for walking and running as during the propulsive (toe off) phase of gait (walking) as the calf muscles contract (tighten) to drive the body forward the Achilles tendons pulls on its attachment site, the heel bone, to create heel lift and ankle joint movement.

Achilles Tendon Issues
Achilles problems can present in various ways with the most common site being the mid-portion of the tendon, which affects the middle section of the tendon 2-6cm up from the heel bone. The presentation is characterised by pain and swelling; this can affect walking especially during the push-off phase and climbing stairs. The Achilles may feel stiff first thing in the morning and after periods of rest.

Other types of Achilles tendon problems include Insertional Achilles tendinopathy whereby the attachment of the Achilles becomes painful and swollen.

Common Causes
Age and Sex:
Achilles Tendinopathy is more prevalent in middle age runners especially in men
Increased Body Mass Index:
An increased body mass places more stress on the tendon during walking & running, which has been estimated up to 12-13 times the body during running.
Tight Muscles:
Tight calf muscles will create an increased pull & stress through the Achilles tendon.
Flat or Pronated Foot Type:
a rolled in or overly pronated foot type can place more stress on the tendon.
Training Issues:
A sudden increase in intensity, distance & poor footwear cam place more stress through the tendon,  very common in marathon runners when training.
Lower Back Pain:
research has shown a link between sciatica and Achilles problems.

Diagnosis
A diagnosis is made generally from symptoms and clinical assessment, there is commonly localised swelling within the tendon, Imaging such as an Ultrasound is commonly used to aid diagnosis and assess the structures integrity for tears or splits or even rupture so appropriate treatment planning can be commenced.</h5>
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Treatments

These are presentation dependent and will be tailored following assessment, but may include;

Rest & consider modifying activity to lower impact
Ice
Elevation
Analgesia as required

And Much More

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