What is Achilles Tendonitis?
It is a common condition that occurs when the large tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg becomes irritated and inflamed. The Achilles tendon is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone (calcaneus). Achilles tendonitis is caused by repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon. Not following a proper training program and failing to maintain adequate calf muscle flexibility are some mistakes that put runners at risk for developing Achilles tendonitis.
How can you prevent it?
Maintain core + lower extremity strength
Participate in a proper training routine, like MIT
Avoid sudden transition to minimal/zero drop shoe-wear as this can place excess stress on the Achilles tendon
Replace shoes regularly (350 - 400 miles is the typical lifespan of a running shoe)
Alternate shoes every training day (especially if you are training for a full marathon where back to back training days are frequent)
Be sure to stop by Fleet Feet Sports + FrontRunner where the experienced staff will find a shoe that is built with the proper stability and cushion for your foot type
Have a regular stretching routine (see stretching tips below)
Always remember to stretch after run, even more than before your run
Perform each of these stretches for 5 sets of 30 second holds, twice daily
Avoid stretching first thing in the morning before warming up
What to do if you have signs/symptoms consistent with Achilles tendonitis?
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE) at initial onset of symptoms
Avoid pushing through pain (Don’t continue running if you are limping)
Contact us at Fit For Life Physical Therapy for a free injury screen