Often experienced by runners, cyclists, swimmers and tennis players, Achilles Tendinopathy occurs as a result of inflammation of the Achilles Tendon (the large tendon that attaches the calf to the back of the heel).
Symptoms often include a dull ache (especially during movement or early morning) and stiffness of the calf, tenderness to the touch and mild swelling. Without treatment it can lead to severe tendinitis risking a rupture of the tendon requiring surgery.
Whilst tendinitis can be caused by a sudden action causing injury it is more commonly caused by repetitive actions that overload the tendon causing damage over a longer period. Adding too much distance to your routine in a short time period can play a role in the cause. Age can also be a factor, as we age our tendons become less flexible making them more susceptible to damage.
Most cases can be treated with rest, self care, physiotherapy and medication to reduce the pain. If experiencing persistent pain you should be seen by your doctor and/or physiotherapist.
The best action to take is:
Ever stepped out of bed first thing in the morning and felt a shearing pain in your heel? You may have even looked down to confront the sharp toy truck or shard of glass that MUST be on the floor….there is nothing there, it’s an internally generated pain that feels like a cattle prod to the foot every time you plant your foot down.
The very likely diagnosis here is Plantar Fasciitis.
Where did it come from, AND HOW DO WE FIX IT!?
The mantra “don’t take back pain lying down” (which came into vogue in the late 90’s) could not be more accurate. I approach Pilates to overcome back pain like having your veggies. You need to get your salad (exercises) in before you can have all the dessert (pain free function) you like. It will vary from person to person depending on the nature and causes of their own specific Low Back Pain, but a holistic Pilates program to reduce pain symptoms and gain function would look like this!......
Are we talking a Chris Hemsworth 6 pack or shredded abs of any form? I’d love to say yes… but quite honestly as a runner and a physio, I am definitely more interested in function, posture and form.
We need core strength to simply live and function at a basic level, but for higher level performance (running) and injury prevention, we need optimal evenly distributed strength around the torso and pelvis.
Runners, listen up! Let's get to the core of the matter....