Achilles Tendinopathy


by Emma Readhead BSc (Podiatry) Hons

The main symptom of an Achilles tendinopathy is pain in the back of the ankle, which may be accompanied by stiffness which occurs anywhere from the point at which the tendon inserts into the calcaneus (heel bone) or higher up towards the muscle.

This pain can range anywhere from mild to intense. The tendon may even feel swollen and thickened. The pain can be occur when you’re just warming up for activity, resting after you’ve finished activity or when you haven’t moved for a while, like getting up in the morning.

Achilles tendinopathy can often occur when there’s been a sudden increase in the amount of physical activity you’re doing, such as running, or other ‘high intensity’ sports that require jumping or sprinting such as basketball and soccer.

However, there is no one way to get this injury. Other factors that can contribute to the condition are:

  • age, as the tendon fibres aren’t as quick to adapt or there’s a history of injury which reduces adaptation;
  • being overweight (although, losing weight isn’t required for a good outcome);
  • autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which can lead to tendon pain developing;
  • or some medications, such as those associated with the management of breast cancer, can also slightly increase the likelihood of developing tendon pain.

What we know about tendon pain is that it can be extremely painful and disabling, even if there’s only a small amount of injury to the tendon. Tendons also don’t like rest, recovering best when we’re still active and moving!

Therefore, management of the condition involves a thorough assessment of you, the activity you’re doing/want to return to, and a personalised plan based upon your symptoms.

At Canberra Foot and Ankle Clinic, we have longer appointments and Podiatrists trained not to just focus on your ankle, but also on how we can get you back to movement and activity faster, speeding up your recovery and getting you back to doing what you love sooner.

If you have any questions about whether you may be suffering from an Achilles tendinopathy or have any lower limb pains you may not be sure of don’t hesitate to call us on (02) 6147 5797.


Located inside Garran Medical Centre, Suite 12, 2 Garran Place, Garran, ACT, 2605
Phone: 02 6147 5797

Office Hours
Monday 8am – 5:30pm
Tuesday 8am – 5:30pm
Wednesday 8am – 5:30pm
Thursday 8am – 5:30pm
Friday 8am – 12pm

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