I am quite an expert now in treating the inflammation of my achilles tendon. With professional help I found step by step the way out of this misery. And I’ve realised that it is a widely spread injury among runners and endurance athletes. Here are some insights for the off-season:
- No or wrong stretching after exercise (especially running and cycling/spinning)
- Instable shoes
- Instable running movement (feet-leg-core)
- Increasing length of runs too fast
First of all, be aware that the healing process in a tendon takes a lot of time, it’s very very slow. The reason for that is very simple: there is not a lot blood circulation in your tendon and the cell division is very slow and takes by far more time than in other parts of our body. This means, that what you are doing to day, will pay out in one or two months! So be patient and insistent.
- Excentric stretching of your calf and lower leg. Every day at least 5 minutes in the morning and before sleep – reduces the pull effect on your tendon and pumps blood in this region
- Wear compression socks! During day and sleep time.
- Stretch your whole backside with a yoga belt, it helps to reduce the pull effect on your tendon too. A must-do after exercise and ideal before sleep.
- Use tapes to reduce the pull effect and to support and increase the blood circulation!
- Painful trigger point massage and dry needling can help to make your calfs softer and more relaxed which also is reducing the pull on your tendon.
If these activities don’t help then talk with your specialist about the following measures:
- Shock wave therapy is something new and can support the healing process. There are different experiences. I had a very positive one.
- Make a running analysis with a well practised specialist to find out wether your shoes are a problem or there is a need for special orthopedic soles. But be aware that this measure is only a support, once you’ve worked successfully with the stability of your feets (see also foot trainings later in this post) you should try to run again without these soles after one year or when you’re ready to do.
- And last but not least for those using a compex system, check this link HERE
- Stretch, stretch, stretch
- Don’t run upwards or downwards, just straight forward with moderate speed on normal streets
- Trigger Point massage every or every second week
- Train your core and add the pistol squat to your training. But watch out that your legs stay in a line when going down and up (no movement to the center in the knee). You can control your movement this way: your knee should “touch” your second biggest toe, but not overpassing it or shifting away during the movement.
- Train your feet! You have to improve the stability of your feet – also on long distances. Repeat the excentric stretching and calf training on the steps and some of these exercises while cleaning your teeth or watching tv …
Hope this will help. Be careful and listen to your body. React before it’s too late. And keep in mind that you are what you eat. Don’t expect wonders from your body if you’re not treating it properly. Give it the best.