This article accompanies my earlier article "the Achilles and orthotics" http://www.prlog.org/
Treating the Achilles is a common part of our job in physical therapies, and for the scope of this article, I will discuss minor Achilles injuries.
The more serious ruptures are left to the skills of surgeons for surgery or plaster casting and we are very often in a position to diagnose these cases and refer on when necessary.
The Achilles tendon runs from the back of the heel to the calf muscle, and is very commonly the site of injuries from either sports or accidents.
In my earlier article from Les Bailey orthotics articles, ( see above ) I discussed first checking the biomechanical positioning of the feet to assess whether this was our causative factor. This must be done before we proceed to treating the tendon without first assessing the possibility of biomechanical factors in the equation.
In this article, I wish to look at actual physical treatment of the Achilles tendon.
My own treatment regime has served my patients well over 30 plus years, and I have swiftly dealt with a huge number of Achilles injuries.
I concede that no man is an island, and my way is far from the only way, although I have to say it works very well !
Firstly, I nearly always advise heel lifts in the shoes to lift the heels and take off excess strain until the injury has healed.
Notice I say feet and not foot, as advising a single heel lift can be disastrous to the biomechanics of the body.
I generally begin with deep tissue massage, particularly cross friction, to stimulate blood flow and beginning to break down inflammatory deposits.
Secondly, I apply ultrasound at 1mhz on full power, taking care to keep the head moving at all times to avoid burning the skin.
One may prefer to use pulsed wave, but personally I use this on only the acutest of injuries. I find its rarely as effective as continuous wave.
If there is severe pain, I may use electroacupuncture at the same time as I am applying Lasertherapy.
Lasertherapy is an interesting tool. It promotes cellular healing, but also brings about good anti inflammatory results. I always notice laser tends to give noticeable pain reducing effects around 20 minutes after treatment has ended.
I advise the patient to use hot / cold packs at home as often as possible, alternating 5 minutes hot, then 5 minutes cold.
This brings about rapid healing, and hot / cold can help the patient avoid alot of treatment, saving both time and money.
The speed at which we clear up Achilles injuries depends on frequency of treatment, and if possible, I prefer to treat one day on, one day off with plenty of hot / cold therapy and anti inflammatory drugs if needed( and not contraindicated ).
Dr Les Bailey phd,DO,acopm,apta ( int part ). Les Bailey orthotics articles
Dr Les Bailey 2012 .woodmansterne, Banstead, Surrey
About Dr Les Bailey phd,DO, acopm.apta(int part)
Les Bailey orthotics articles
Email direct... drlesbailey@
phone 07801418080 00447801418080 if outside uk
Dr Les Bailey started a career in physical therapies in 1981,qualifying at remedial massage,and going on to qualify in osteopathy.
He was awarded a Phd from OIUCM for his thesis on the orthotic treatment of plantar fasciitis.
He was awarded the lecturer / teacher diploma from the northern school of osteopaths 1993.
He holds the diploma in foot biomechanics .
Dr Les Bailey works from his clinic near woodmansterne, Banstead in surrey.