OUR 4 STEP PROCESS FOR TREATING ACHILLES TENDON PAIN
We use our four-step process to make sure that we create a treatment programme for your Achilles tendon pain that is tailored to your specific needs and that will get you up and running again as quickly as possible.
What's going on?
In the first Skype consultation we take care to listen to your history and to put you through a thorough battery of tests.
This is to make sure that your tendon pain is truly Achilles tendinopathy (or Achilles tendonitis, as it’s sometimes called). We’ll also identify all the factors that may have caused your injury.
We never jump to conclusions. Whilst Achilles tendinopathy is by far the most common cause of tendon pain, it’s not the only injury that can cause pain in the back of the heel.
We’ve had several patients who have wasted their time because their injury had been misdiagnosed before or who had been trying to follow a treatment programme that wasn’t tailored to their specific needs.
Where do you start?
The research is very clear: the most effective treatment for Achilles tendinopathy is relative rest combined with strength exercises for the Achilles tendon. BUT there is no one-size-fits-all. You have to start these exercises at the correct level for your circumstances.
If you get it wrong, you can either make your pain worse or you’ll see no change at all. That’s why we don’t just give you a copy-and-paste programme and tell you to get on with it. As mentioned in Step 1, we take a thorough history of your injury, lifestyle and training and put you through a battery of tests during the first consultation. We then use this information to identify:
What level of running or sport you can continue with while recovering
What exercises you should do specifically for the Achilles tendon
What exercises you should do for the rest of the body to ensure that you have a strong core and legs to support your Achilles tendon.
We also provide your with pictures and videos of your exercises to make sure that you know exactly what to do.
We also encourage you to stay in touch via email after the first session. A week later, in your first top-up session, we’ll tweak the programme if necessary and check that you’re still clear on what you should be doing.
Keep growing stronger
Your exercise programme has to intensify over time to ensure that your Achilles tendon gets back to full strength. That’s why we set you clear targets to hit and update your programme during your review sessions. What we work towards and what targets we set will take your own goals into account.
Most patients find that it works well to space their follow-up sessions at two-weekly intervals, but it will all depend on your progress. We don’t believe in rushing things but at the same time there’s no need to hold you back if you’ve hit your targets.
We’ve found that most people need a minimum of five top-up sessions to make a good recovery.
Bulletproof your future
We're not just interested in helping you get over your current Achilles injury. We also want to make sure that you avoid getting Achilles tendinopathy again in the future. That's why, during the course of your treatment, we'll also help you identify and navigate potential pitfalls that can cause Achilles tendon pain in the first place!
This can include advice on your running programme so that you know when to progress and when to hold back. If you don't have a running programme, we can help you create one and tailor make it to you and your running goals.
Ongoing strength exercises for your Achilles is really important. It can ensure that your Achilles tendon is robust and strong enough for all the running training you're doing.
A general strength training programme for all the muscles in your legs and core is also important to ensure that your calf and Achilles tendon have the support they need. There is also good evidence that strength training can prevent other running injuries including runner's knee and iliotibial band syndrome.
Our aim is that by the time that you've recovered and are ready to self-manage, you'll know:
how to safely manage your running;
what Achilles exercises you should continue with;
what strength exercises you should do for the rest of your body.