Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathies

Achilles tendon injuries or Tendinopathies are typically not related to a specific incident or injury, but instead are a result of overloading or overusing the tendon over a period of time. Your achilles tendon basically is complaining because it can’t cope with the physical demands that are being placed upon it! 

Many people suffer from Achilles Tendinopathies. Symptoms can include waking up with stiffness in your achilles tendon accompanied by difficulty walking downstairs. It often eases with light activity or movement, but gets worse again after high level activity, such as a long walk, running or climbing lots of stairs. Often after sitting or resting it stiffens up again and the pain returns. 

Shockwave Achilles picture

Like with Plantar Fasciitis, people who suffer with Achilles Tendinopathies experience the ‘yo-yoing’ of pain, rest, pain, rest! Before you know it, you’ve limited your activities and sports to avoid the pain. And just like Plantar Fasciitis, identifying the underlying cause is crucial. It could be flattened arches, poor training habits in running, footwear, lack of flexibility in other muscles, weak areas – many issues (or a combination of issues) can lead to Achilles Tendinopathy. 

Mild cases can resolve with rest, but this is rare. Because most people take the ‘wait and see’ approach, Achilles Tendinopathy can be a long standing (chronic) condition, before you seek expert help. If this is the case or if you’ve tried other treatments with no success, SWT can be a very effective treatment to stop your pain and start your recovery.

At goPhysio, we’d always take an approach where alongside tackling the pain, we’d also analyse and address what’s caused your Achilles Tendinopathy in the first place. Without doing this, you risk getting it again. So, with our expert guidance and holistic care, we give you the best possible chance of long term, recovery. 

Read more about achilles tendon injuries here.

There are many treatment options when it comes to resolving achilles tendinopathies. These include:

  • A wait & see approach (can just leave it and hope it will get better in time, which many will do within 8 – 12 months, it just depends whether you can live with it).
  • Physiotherapy – including strengthening exercises, stretches, manual treatment techniques and taping.
  • Acupuncture (which many Physio’s will do as part of their treatment).
  • Activity modification – a crucial part of successful treatment.
  • Medication, including pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

These forms of treatment can all be very effective for a mild or fairly recent onset of achilles tendinopathies. .

More invasive treatment options for more long standing or severe cases can include:

  • Corticio-steroid injection.
  • Surgery.

Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathies

However, steroid injections and surgery really are a last resort, there is no guarantee of success with either of these treatment options. A very worthwhile alternative for more severe, long-standing cases that may have failed to get better with other treatments is Shockwave Therapy.

With Shockwave Therapy, ‘shock waves’ are passed through the skin to the affected area using a special device. It’s a non-invasive and relatively pain-free treatment. The medical name for this procedure is ‘extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory tennis elbow’. ‘Extracorporeal’ means outside the body and ‘refractory’ means that the condition does not respond to conventional treatments. The ‘shock waves’ are inaudible, high-energy sound waves. How many sessions you will need depends on the severity of your pain and how long you’ve had the problem for. However, 4 – 6 are normally recommend.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that shockwave therapy is safe, although it can cause minor side effects, including bruising and reddening of skin in the area being treated.

Research shows that shockwave therapy can help improve the pain of achilles tendinopathies in some cases. However, it may not work in all cases, and further research is needed.

What next?

If you’ve been suffering with achilles tendinopathy and want help, get in touch. You can have a free no obligation phone call to see whether it may help you.

Alternatively, book straight in to see one of our Physiotherapists. They will carry out a full assessment of your elbow and put together a recovery plan for you. If they think shockwave treatment is going to help you, they can get started straight away. Unlike many clinics. we include shockwave therapy in the cost of your appointments, with no additional charges.

Read More

Achilles Tendon Injuries

Lower Limb Tendon Pain: What shouldn’t you be doing?

Overuse injuries

Hampshire Shockwave Therapy Logo

Reviews

What They Say

Antonia Perez
Antonia Perez
2023-11-25
We got an appointment promptly, the appointment went smoothly. Very nice physios. 👌
Fran Helen
Fran Helen
2023-11-06
Really knowledgeable and supportive, with clear advice to help. I feel so reassured after this appointment, highly recommended, they really listened to me. Thank you.
Brenda Hinnell
Brenda Hinnell
2023-10-27
First visit and in urgent need of physio as really suffering from not being able to run. Lottie was very patient and understanding with a lovely manner. She worked wonders and I am looking forward to my next visit.
James Grierson
James Grierson
2023-10-21
Great first appointment, really listened to my problems annd thorough anssessment and have come up with a clear rehab plan to get me back on track.
Nuisha Russo
Nuisha Russo
2023-10-21
I had a really good visit to GoPhysio. I have had sciatica for two months and it wasn't showing any signs of improvement. Sophie gave me a thorough assessment and then provided acupuncture and ultra sound. After one visit my sciatica has almost gone. I am really pleased.
kay luffman
kay luffman
2023-10-08
Everyone at go physio is so helpful & friendly. I have been receiving treatment for golfers elbow from Hannah Gelder, and couldn’t be happier, I wish I had gone earlier! She explains everything well, and guides you through exercises etc. very amiable and makes you feel at ease. Highly recommend
Chris Kitchen
Chris Kitchen
2023-10-07
They are a great friendly team who always manage to sort my sports injuries out. Can recommend them highly
Mark Dewey
Mark Dewey
2023-10-05
Go Physio definitely the place to go, came away feeling better and reassured and with a plan going forward.
Christine Raw
Christine Raw
2023-10-05
Very professional service and excellent treatment. Listened and gave good advice.
Kay Horton
Kay Horton
2023-10-05
I have been attending goPhysio for about two years. As a company they are very professional and provide a very good level of service to include efficiency and courtesy and are always consistent in their approach. This very much includes the admin /reception team whom are the first people you make contact with. My Physio has excellent knowledge and has assisted me with sound advice and ongoing exercise regimes which are achievable and realistic. This has supported me well in between appointments. Although always busy I am normally able to see Roz at a mutually convenient time. Thank you to all the team