The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, it has an elastic structure and a unique ability to store and release energy.
Tendonitis and tendinopathy are often used interchangeably, however this is not actually correct; tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. Tendinopathy (i.e. non-inflammatory) is more of a clinical diagnosis of pain and dysfunction. It is a cellular response to loading and overuse. It can often occur after a sudden increase/ change in exercise (sometimes an increase in volume) or change in exercise patterns, (i.e. trying a new sport/ adding in a new exercise- jump squats vs normal squat for example).
Achilles tendinopathy is related to the ability of the tendon to cope with the new load, exercises specific to strengthening this tendon will help healing and return to activity.
The majority of tendinopathies can be treated using a combination of simple exercises; the most important aspect of treating a tendinopathy is to identify the aggravating factors and then gradually introduce the right loading patterns.
Have a try of these exercises, but pay attention to your body and monitor as you go along. You do need exercises specific to the tendon to help recovery, but overloading the tendon may worsen the pain.
2. Stand on the edge of a step. on one foot, as shown in the picture. Your heels should be over the edge of the step. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat three times.
3. Stand on the edge of a step, on two feet. Your heels should be over the edge of the step. Lift up on to your toes, and slowly lower back to the starting position. Ensuring you do not drop your heels lower than the step. Complete three sets of 10-12 repetitions.
4. Stand on the edge of a step, on one foot. Your heel should be over the edge of the step. Lift up on to your toes and slowly lower back to the starting position. Do not drop your heels lower than the step. Complete three sets of 10-12 repetitions.