The Achilles tendon is the thick band of tissue at the back of the heel that connects the calf muscle to the heel. Achilles tendonitis occurs if that tendon becomes irritated and tightened due to chronic stress, usually from a dramatic increase in training mileage, and makes up 11% of running injuries according to a Runner’s World article. It’s best to address this type of injury right away because if the tendon becomes chronically irritated and
blood supply to support quick healing. It will be best to avoid wearing footwear such as heels and flip flops that don’t provide good arch support as well as avoid overly aggressive stretching, and activities that involve jumping as these things are likely to further aggravate symptoms. You may want to try wearing a compression sock to assist with venous return and to combat fatigue of the calf muscle during running, as well as apply ice for 15 minutes after running to further control inflammation. A physical therapist can provide hands-on therapy to address muscle tightness as well as teach you how to perform self-massage using a roller like the MojiHeat Massage Roller. A physical therapist can also instruct you exercises to strengthen the calf muscle without further aggravating the Achilles tendon and address any strength deficits or flexibility imbalances in back, core, or hip muscles that may be changing your stride and putting increased stress through the Achilles.
See this video for 3 simple exercise you can do to help yourself:
A lot of runners and athletes have found taping to be beneficial as it may provide enough relief to allow you to continue running or exercising while working on the strengthening. If you want to learn how you can tape your own knee, click on the link below to get access to a special training video on taping for Achilles Tendonitis.
We are always available to consult with you individually as well - just contact us to set up an appointment.