Does Your Achilles Tendon Pain Stop You From Running?
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
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Achilles Tendon Pain is one of the most common tendon injuries seen especially in Runners and Sports that involve Jumping. While it is easy to follow the old adage “walk it off” or in this case “run it off”, repetitive tensile loading of the tendon by either running or playing on it will only make things worse.
What causes Achilles Tendon pain?
Research suggests that repeated overloading of the tendon in activities like Running or jumping or sudden changes in training like rapidly increasing distance or going straight from couch to 5K without any preparation are factors that could lead to injury. There is also some mention of stiff shoes that could contribute to injury as it alters the way you Run and hence putting excessive loads on the tendon (JOSPT, Vol. 45, 2015)
So what is the diagnosis?
The diagnosis of what is called Achilles tendinopathy or a tendon injury in simple words is made by a physical therapist based on the history (the information you give to us) and the clinical exam i.e. looking at Range of motion and certain other movement patterns. It could range anywhere from a mild strain to involvement of tendons fully.
Now remember, there are a lot of other factors that could contribute to pain in the Achilles/calf muscle area. Your Lumbar spine for example could easily refer pain in the calf through L5,S1 dermatomes or it could even be a vascular condition like Deep Vein thrombosis (DVT) that could potentially be a serious condition. So get a thorough exam as soon as you can.
How can we help?
Now there are lot of things I have heard people try like Foam Rolling, Lacrosse balls, needling, massage etc. and all of that “feels” good. But none of these treatments have any scientific basis or research to help the cause of the problem in any way.
There is tons of research that in fact supports adding the RIGHT AMOUNT of STRESS to the tendon in order for it to help rebuild gradually. This simply means, doing the right exercises that may even be a little painful in this case suggested by your qualified physical therapist.
This is of course something that could even take up to 3 months or even longer for full return to Running or any other sports but every step in this process is worth it to save you from a lifetime of injections and other painful & expensive treatments!
Want to Know more?
We also know not everyone is ready to commit to regular physical therapy appointments, and that’s why we offer our Free Information Guide! This Guide is for people in our community who want really valuable, expert information about their Knee problems. We know it’s confusing out there with all of the information floating around on Google and Facebook, and this is a valuable first step towards getting some real answers for your problem.
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