Chronic Achilles tendonitis: Physical therapy exercises
The image above is from the website: footandankle-bh.com
I need to input a story. It may be urban legend but I am about 90% sure it is true. There was an orthopedic surgeon from Sweden named Dr. Albrechtson. He is listed as in many medical journal articles on eccentric strengthening to help Achilles tendonitis and the efficacy of those exercises. He had terrible Achilles tendonitis so he asked his colleagues to do surgery on the Achilles to just do a repair like when it is torn. They said are you crazy? So he thought if I tear it on purpose then they will have to do surgery on it. He did the most aggressive exercises he could think of… eccentric strengthening of the Achilles with single calf raises 3 sets of 10 for a period weeks…. he was shocked it got better. So he started doing research on his patients and it worked with them as well. So he started to publish his findings.
I’m going to give you some inside physical therapist information. There are about 5 conditions that every PT dreads working on because it is so hard to get it better. Chronic Achilles tendonitis is one of those conditions. But this exercise has helped get rid of my own Achilles tendonitis and that of my patients.
Assessment: You likely have this condition if you have pain with …
- Touch back of heel/ Achilles tendon
- Achilles pain with push off with walking
- Achilles pain with stairs
Treatments: This is an aggressive form of treatment so perform at your own risk.
Eccentric strengthening of Achilles- this means a heel raise going slowly on the downward phase of the calf raise.
Perform on one leg with one hand on a rail and one foot up out of the way, and the other foot performing the heel raise. Perform 3 sets of 10, go slowly down !!! Perform every other day for 6 weeks
CONCLUSION from the International Journal of Sports Physical therapy . Current literature regarding Achilles tendonopathy suggests that eccentric exercises are effective in the treatment of pain and the restoration of function. There are numerous potential explanations supporting the rationale for effectiveness of eccentric regimes, however many of the suggested explanations have not been fully investigated.