tendon pain can really hinder your running training. In this article we discuss
what is Achilles tendonitis? What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis? How
severe is Achilles tendonitis? What causes Achilles Tendonitis? How is Achilles
tendonitis treat? And can you train through Achilles tendonitis?
is Achilles Tendonitis?
tendonitis is an acute inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the
calf muscles (gastrocnemius & soleus) to the back of the heel bone
(calcaneus). Achilles tendonitis is a common injury experienced by runners and
endurance athletes, and frequently causes disruption with activities such as
walking, running, cycling, and swimming. There are several causes of Achilles
tendonitis, however due to the nature of this injury it is commonly caused by
overuse, improper running mechanics, or an improper increase in training
are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?
you are suffering from an Achilles tendonitis you may experience:
Pain along the Achilles tendon (located from the
top of the heel bone to the bottom of the calf muscle)
Swelling and tenderness along the Achilles tendon
or at the base of the heel bone
Pain along the back of the ankle with activities
such walking, running, cycling, swimming, going up and downs stairs, standing,
doing a heel raise
If you think you may be suffering from an
Achilles tendon injury it is best to be assessed by a health professional. Your
Physio, Osteo, or Chiro will be able to diagnose and form an appropriate
treatment plan to get you back to running as soon as possible.
Severe is Achilles Tendonitis?
Mild – Pain along the achilles tendon only
during activities that cause an increased load on the calf such as running,
jogging or jumping. Mild achilles tendonitis is typically not associated with
increased swelling along the achilles tendon, however there may be tenderness
along the calf muscle or at the back of the heel bone.
Moderate – Pain along the
achilles tendon with all high impact activities as well as with lower impact
activities such as walking, standing, and performing a heel raise. Swelling is
typically present with moderate severity, and you may notice that certain
points along the achilles tendon feel more swollen than others.
Severe – In this phase, all
weight bearing activity will cause pain along the achilles tendon. Severe
swelling along the achilles accompanied by several points of sharp pain is
typical in this phase.
causes Achilles Tendonitis?
tendonitis can be cause by a variety of different activities or circumstances,
Poor running mechanics – Running
mechanics are extremely important to every runner, and will help to determine
how fast you can run as well as how far you can run. Running is a highly
repetitive activity, which leaves many runners susceptible to overuse injuries
in their hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Taking a comprehensive look at running
mechanics will assist your Physiotherapist to correctly diagnose and treat
An increase in training volume – Rapidly
increasing the amount that you are training can sometimes increase the
likelihood of developing injuries, as you are not allowing your body the
appropriate time for rest and recovery between training runs.
Poor footwear – Wearing proper and
supportive footwear is extremely important for all runners. Worn out shoes will
no longer offer the correct support for your foot and ankle, which will leave
you susceptible to the development of achilles tendonitis.
A lack of variety in training – Variety is
the spice of life, and when it comes to running it is important to remember
that incorporating cross training and strength days are vital to help prevent
the onset of a variety of running injuries including achilles tendonitis.
Hill training – Running uphill puts an
increased demand on your calf, and on the achilles tendon. This can cause
inflammation and pain as your calf fatigues, and can eventually result in the
development of achilles tendonitis.
Poor ankle mobility or strength – Poor
strength or mobility in your ankle will often result in poor running mechanics
at your foot, ankle and knee. Since running is a highly repetitive activity,
these poor running mechanics can eventually result in pain and injuries.
is Achilles Tendonitis Treated?
on the stage of the injury, achilles tendonitis can usually be successfully
treated by a Physiotherapist or similar allied health practitioner. A full
assessment of your ankle should be performed in order to identify specific areas
of reduced mobility and strength that are contributing to the development of
achilles tendonitis. Along with this examination, a detailed assessment of your
gait pattern (walking pattern), may be necessary to perform in order to gain
deeper insight into any movement patterns that will predispose you to the
development of achilles tendonitis.
the assessment is performed and the information is gathered, your
Physiotherapist will be able to guide you through a tailored exercise and
mobility program targeted at your specific areas of deficit. Your
Physiotherapist may also educate you on your specific running mechanics, and be
able to offer advice on different methods to reduce force and impact to your
achilles tendon while running.
you train through achilles tendonitis?
Training through an injury can be challenging, and it is highly recommended to consult a medical professional if you are experiencing pain or discomfort while exercising. Identifying a problem early will aid in limiting its impact on your training, and can get you back to running as quick as possible. Under the guidance of a qualified Physiotherapist, you will be directed down the path to recovery, and will hopefully be back to running with an appropriate training schedule to help you hit your goals!