Can massage help Achilles Tendonitis?

Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Research in a Nutshell | Comments Off

In the September 2006 Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, researchers found that applying strain-counterstrain techniques, a injury treatment method commonly used in massage, on the soleus of those with Achilles tendonitis produced a 23.1 percent decrease in localized stress.

The largest tendon in the body, the achilles tendon attaches to the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the lower leg. Many running injuries (about 11%) are associated with this area.  Commonly, people acquire achilles tendonitis which is a painful inflammation of the achilles tendon. This usually happens if the gastrocnemius or soleus are overstressed or overused.

Some signs of achilles tendonitis are:

  • Pain during exercise, walking up hill, or stairs
  • Inflammation and/or redness
  • Pain or stiffness in the morning

When someone comes to our clinic, we recommend to start with a doctor’s exam and also refer to this article which discusses the R.I.C.E.R. routine for applying cold therapy to recent injuries to minimize inflammation.  We suggest seeing your chiropractor or podiatrist to assess if orthotics are needed as they can often be very helpful in the healing process.  After a series of massage therapy treatments to remove scar tissue and treat trigger points, acupuncture may be used to help break the pain cycle. Our most successful patients attend physical therapy after this regime to work on strengthening the calf muscle to help reduce the stress on the achilles tendon.

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