Achilles tendinopathy is a very common condition and may become chronic in some patients. Shockwave therapy is a cutting-edge treatment technique which may do the trick for you!

What is The Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a thick, fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone (calcaneus). The achilles tendon is subjected to a lot of stress and strain. In running, this tendon experiences a force about 6-8 times of body weight, which is very close to the maximum load tolerable by the tendon [2].

achilles tendon

Achilles Tendinopathy

Tendinopathy is one of the most common clinical diagnoses of Achilles related injury [2]. A tendinopathy is simply a pathological stage of the tendon that results from repetitive loading or stress, which may lead to breakdown of the tendon integrity.

Achilles tendinopathy is usually accompanied by muscle strength and power, pain, stiffness and swelling. These symptoms will impair abilities to walk, run, jump, climb, perform activities of daily living or sport/exercise [3].

Since Achilles tendinopathy is more common in repetitive loads or strain, it is more common in athletes and physical workers whose activity is associated with major mechanical loading that exceeds the tendons capacity. Achilles’ tendinopathy accounts for 5%-18% of all running injuries [3].

There are two main classifications for Achilles’ tendinopathy – insertional tendinopathy and non-insertional tendinopathy. Insertional tendinopathy refers to where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel.

achilles tendonitiis insertional vs noninsertional

Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathy

Shockwave is an effective, evidence-based tool which has strong evidence for Achilles tendon injury. Several practitioners at Absolute Health can administer shockwave.

There have been various studies on the efficacy and safety of shockwave on Achilles injury.

One study compared shockwave versus no treatment. After only 1 single treatment session (3000 impulse, 1-4 Hz), study participants with Achilles tendinopathy saw better therapy outcomes compared to control participants [3].

Next, another study compared shockwave to ‘sham’ shockwave. Shockwave (2000 impulses, 8 Hz) administer only once, had significant symptom relief after a few months.

The most clinically significant study looked at Shockwave alone versus shockwave combined with eccentric loaded exercising. This study involved 2000 impulses, administered once per week for 3 weeks. After 4 months it was found that shockwave lead to significant improvement, but those who did shockwave plus eccentric loading exercise faired even better [3].

At Absolute Health and Wellness, we emphasise the importance of exercise specific rehab in conjunction with our manual therapies and shockwave.

Shockwave at Absolute Health and Wellness

At Absolute Health, we offer shockwave therapy for Achilles’ tendinopathy. We may use a combination of tools to help, including shockwave, but also Orthotics, Acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy and naturopathy.

All shockwave appointments are carried out by a registered practitioner so if you have Extended Health Benefits, your benefits will cover these appointments the same way it would for physio, chiro, massage, or naturopathy.

Call the clinic at 519 442 2206 or book online today!


Interested in learning more?

Read on in our series of articles on Musculoskeletal Complaints!

About the Author - Sonia Gashgarian

woman facing camera

Sonia Gashgarian is a registered physiotherapist who graduated with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto. Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours from the University of Waterloo. Sonia has completed courses in sports taping and basic kinesio-taping, as well as the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy and Mulligan Concept. She also has her APTEI Acupuncture and Dry Needling Certification.

Sonia uses a variety of treatment techniques to help clients feel better and return to their regular activities as soon as possible. Her individualized treatments may include the following: education, joint mobilizations, exercise prescription, soft tissue release, trigger point release, taping, acupuncture and dry needling, cupping, and Gua Sha.

To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.

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