Achilles Teninopathy (Achilles Tendinitis)
The Achilles tendon is about 15cm long and attaches your calf to your heel. It has a very poor blood supply which allows it to get inflamed very easily.
Symptoms: The pain comes on at the start of exercise (running) and may feel better or worse throughout but often stiffness or pain is felt after the activity. The tendon can be painful with pressure or when stretching.
Treatment: Conservative treatment such as massaging the calf and mobilising the joints can improve your running technique, which will release stress on the Achilles tendon. Also a specific rehabilitation programme will help, along with plenty of rest.
Prognosis: The achilles tendon is one of the least vascular areas of the body and can take a long time to heal. Stopping aggravating activity is essential. The injury improves between 1- 6 months in the majority of cases.
Plantar Fascitis (PF)
PF is the most common cause of chronic heel pain. The plantar facia is the fibrous part in the arch of your foot. Discomfort and pain can be caused by poor fitting shoes, prolonged standing, tight calves and obesity.
Symptoms: Stabbing pain underneath the foot is experienced, especially in the morning when getting out of bed.
Treatment: This will vary with each case but can include orthotics or taping, manual mobilisation of the foot & ankle and also massage. An effective home remedy is to fill a frozen water bottle with ice and roll the foot over the top for a couple of minutes.
Prognosis: The majority of injuries will improve between 1- 6 months but in some cases it can take longer. The more you can stay off the injured area, the quicker the healing process will be.