Achilles tendonitits and plantar fasciitis can be a nightmare, but help may be at hand. Osteopathy, acupuncture, electrotherapy, massage and stretching may all help.

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscle to your heel bone and is used as we walk, run or jump. It is the largest of all the tendons in the body. Achilles tendonitis occurs due to inflammation of this tendon, most commonly from sports such as running. This can give rise to pain, swelling and stiffness, which may be worse 1st thing, post rest, or after activity.

Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia covers the sole of your foot and attaches to your heel. When inflamed, commonly from overuse, this can result in swelling, pain and stiffness. Like Achilles tendonitis this tends to be worse 1st thing, after exercise or post rest. Long periods of time standing, exercise like running, obesity and poor footwear can all contribute to it.

For both Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis the methods of treatment and self-help are similar.

Self-help measures may include: reducing distance and quantity of exercise, looking at footwear, wearing a small heel raise in shoes to reduce stress on the tendon, stretching daily, massage, arnica, ice, pain-killers and anti-inflammatories.

Other help you could consider- massage, ultrasound, osteopathy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, manual therapy and a chiropodist or podiatrist to assess your feet and foot mechanics.

In clinic I tend to use a combination of massage, stretching, electrotherapy, gait analysis and foot wear assessment for both of these conditions. Using exercise prescription and self-help measures to assist. Neither condition, in my opinion are easily remedied without a combined approach and an element of patience too!

For runners it is important to up your distance gradually and to prepare the body for the activity you are about to perform. Stretching and strengthening exercises are vital as is good foot support.

Read osteopath Matt Schofield’s tips and hints for runners at