GAA Injuries - tendonitis

While this condition can happen all year round during the summer months and hardening pitches players can be more prone to hard impact injuries. We take a look at the injury and how to treat it.

What is it

Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heal bone. It usually results from overuse associated with a change in playing surface, footwear or intensity of an activity.

Causes

  • Achilles tendonitis occurs in all our Gaelic Sports as running, jumping and sharp turns are all risks in contracting tendonitis.
  • Other risk factors are increasing the intensity of training perhaps during Championship season.
  • Poor running technique and poorly fitting footwear may contribute to contracting the condition

Symptoms

  • Gradual onset of pain and stiffness over the tendon, which may improve with heat or walking and worsen with strenuous activity.
  • Tenderness of the tendon when stretching. There may also be swelling in or around the tendon.
  • Pain on active movement of the ankle joint.
Achilles Tendonitis

VERY IMPORTANT

If a player has any of the above symptoms they should stop and use the below management techniques on the injury. Failure to do so can result in a complete Achilles rupture – not nice and may require surgery.

Management

  • The player should abstain from aggravating activities, but with a minimum of rest in order to preserve overall fitness.
  • Possible treatments are: ice, rest, increased warm-up/stretching exercises, physiotherapy and heel lifts using resistance bands at low pressure.
  • Casting is an option for resistant Achilles tendonitis.
  • Surgery is sometimes used for resistant Achilles tendonitis, but usually as a last resort.

Prognosis

Recovery usually takes weeks to months according to the severity of the injury. Best advice is on first feeling the above symptoms stop high intensity work, use ice and rest of that area of the body.

Players can do gym work on other parts of the body to maintain fitness while the rest the foot area completely

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