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:
RUNNING! It's a wonderfully addictive sport and as far as km's go you can feel like a kid in a candy store who's saved a tonne of pocket money. We discover new trails and parks, run longer/faster/harder and it almost becomes a game of 'running roulette': how far can we go and still tolerate the impact?
Maybe not straight away but, inevitably, we fall victim to injury and niggles at some point to varying degrees which can be multifaceted in cause.
BUT How do we bounce back safely and effectively without running the risk of re-injury? What does a 'Return to Running' program look like?
Here are my thoughts....
If you are a runner, inevitably someone has said something along the lines of:
"Oh No! Your poor joints. How do your knees hold up?!"
We can often dismiss this, but the question does not go unwarranted....
There IS a knee condition that is close to my heart and can side line you from running which is called patellofemoral pain or RUNNERS KNEE. It doesn't mean you are going to have "bad knees when you're old" but if you ignore this condition it can kneecap your training for months (pun intended) and take the buzz out of your training. Been there.
Here is the low down!
Mobility and stretching shouldn’t feel like a chore. I have learned to actually look forward to it! I know in myself I always feel less of a 90 year old if I take time to do a stretch warm up and also don’t pull up as stiff the next day if I factor in some post run mobility work.
Stretching and mobility is not the golden ticket to running performance enhancement, nor is it the magic pill to injury prevention….
Do I recommend it to clients and factor it into my weekly routine to stay limber and fresh?
Here's is how and why I recommend regular stretching to runners as part of a holistic training program to help with movement efficiency and recovery.....