Achilles Tendon Pain

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It connects the 2 large calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and soleus) to the back of the heel bone (calcaneus). The tendon gives us the ability to rise up onto our toes a nd is very important in facilitating walking and running.

What Causes Achilles Pain:
Achilles pain is usually a result of tendinitis caused by tight or fatigued calf muscles which transfer too much of the burden of walking or running to the Achilles tendon. If the tendon is placed under too much stress then it will tighten and become over worked. The tendon becomes inflamed and over time can produce a covering of scar tissue, which is less flexible than the tendon. If an inflamed Achilles continues to be stressed, it can tear or upture
Not stretching the calves properly, excessive hill running or speed work, both of which stress the Achilles more than other types of running, can bring on Achilles tendinitis.
To help prevent Achilles tendinitis stretching the calf muscles is important. Wearing the right shoes and orthotics to address any biomechanical abnormality is important to help normalise the strain on the tendon. Rest until the Achilles is pain free, then ease back into any running or walking program. Avoid hill work, speed work and sand.
Remember to incorporate rest into your future training schedule.
Treatment of Achilles Tendinitis:

  • Reduce activity to pain free activity only.
  • Correct foot mechanics with orthotics to normalise strain on the tendon.
  • Strapping and temp heel lifts may be required to unload the Achilles tendon.
  • Stretch both calf muscles and Achilles tendon at least twice a day.

Do not stretch if it is painful