Saturday, June 10, 2023

Preventing and Treating Achilles Tendonitis

Preventing and Treating Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is an injury that affects the Achilles tendon, which is the largest tendon in the body and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It's caused by overuse and can result in pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the ankle.

To prevent Achilles tendonitis, it's essential to stretch and strengthen the calf muscles regularly. Here are four tips:

  • Stretch your calves before and after your runs.
    • Before your run, do dynamic calf stretches like mountain climbers or lunges.
    • After your run, do static stretches like the wall push.
  • Strengthen your calf muscles with exercises such as calf raises and heel drops.
  • Gradually increase your mileage and intensity. 
    • As I've mentioned before, 5-10% is typical, but it can depend on injuries, weekly mileage, etc. As your running coach, we will look at your plan and adjust accordingly. If you are acting as your own coach, make sure to back off on the mileage every 3 weeks or so to give your body some recovery. 
  • Wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning.
    • As I've mentioned before, I've had great success with barefoot shoes but to each their own. If you are unsure which shoes to get, try getting fitted at a specialty running store. Yes, it may be more expensive, but you will be sure to get the proper sizing. 

If you do experience Achilles tendonitis, the best course of action is to rest, ice, and elevate your ankle. Over-the-counter pain medication can also help reduce inflammation and pain.

As a running coach, I specialize in helping runners prevent and recover from injuries, so they can continue to enjoy their runs. Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more about my coaching services.


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