Achilles tendon injuries are often painful and last longer than many other typical running injuries, due to the amount of strain placed on the muscle. Your Achilles tendon is the muscle that connects your back heel to your calf, meaning that when you push off the ground when running, this is where the force is coming from. Therefore, the amount of strain being placed on this tendon is great; up to three times your body weight. Damage to the tendon stems from factors such as over-pronation, weak calf muscles, and more. Unfortunately, due to the thickness of the tendon and poor blood flow, the healing process can take a long time; however, there are ways to help.
Instead of exercising the tendon through calf stretches, which can damage the tendon further, podiatrists recommend rest and heel lifts. You can also do an exercise known as a heel drop, where your calf muscles are meant to realign the tendon fibers that have become misaligned with the injury. The link below will give you directions as to how to perform these exercises. Aside from these simple therapies, it is important to rest your leg. Continual training just aggravates the injury further. Additionally, heel lifts, or custom orthotics, are available. Heel lifts are recommended for Achilles tendon injuries, as they reduce the tension placed on the tendon. These inserts limit the range of motion in order to prevent additional strain and should be worn during the beginning of your recovery.
If you believe that you have an Achilles tendon injury, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist right away. It is important to treat this injury sooner rather than later, so call us at (847) 540-9949!
Courtesy of: Runners Connect