Did you increase your running distance whilst gyms were closed?
Did you develop Achilles pain and then push through the pain only to still have issues months on?
This is a common occurrence we are currently seeing in the clinic and the most common cause: Achilles Tendinopathy! Achilles Tendinopathy is an overuse injury causing irritation to the tendon which connects the calf muscle to your heel.
Here are 4 tips to best manage your Achilles Tendinopathy:
1. Manage your training load
Once a tendon becomes irritated, the push through pain method doesn’t often work and will often lengthen your recovery. Start by decreasing your training load by 50% and slowly increase your load with the guidance of your physiotherapist.
2. Strength training The most important part of tendon pain is strength training!
When a tendon is most irritated, focusing on isometric (static hold) calf raises will help to settle pain. Then it’s important to move onto mid range and full range exercises before adding load (weights) and plyometric exercises (jumping/hopping).
For the Achilles’ tendon, it’s important to strengthen with both the knee straight and the knee bent to target all fibres of the Achilles’ tendon and calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus).
Isometric calf raises:
Full range calf raises:
Single Leg Progression:
3. Stretching and Self massage
It’s important to address muscle tightness but often stretching the calf muscles can be painful when the Achilles’ tendon is most irritated.
To reduce muscle tightness in early stages, look to self massage your calf muscles with a foam roller or spikey massage ball.
4. Correct footwear
If your shoes are looking like this:
It might be time for some new shoes…
Investing in a good quality supportive shoe can reduce the load going through your Achilles’ tendon when running. If required, going to a podiatrist can give further advice on footwear and orthotics.
Remember, always consult your physiotherapist before commencing any of these exercises to give you an individualised program to suit your needs!
If you have any questions about this blog or would like some more advice, please do not hesitate to reach out, our qualified Physiotherapists are more than happy to help. Simply call the clinic on (08) 9279 7411 today!
Beth graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Since graduating Beth has developed a passion in Pilates and exercise based rehabilitation particularly for chronic low back pain and sporting injuries. Beth has completed extra studies in Clinical Pilates and takes Mat and Studio Pilates classes to assist individuals in achieving their goals.
Outside of work, Beth loves to travel both overseas and within our beautiful state. She also enjoys running, going to the beach and playing hockey on weekends.
To learn more about Beth, click here.