Updated: Sep 20, 2021
#AchillesTendinopathy usually happens because of 2 things: 1.lack of resiliency/strength of the tendon & calf muscle or 2.sudden over-use beyond the Achilles current capabilities.
People often experience this after starting running again, increasing their mileage too much/too soon, or when a new variable gets introduced too quickly into their training (change of terrain, increased range/load…). 📈
What we often hear patients do first is trying to “stretch it out”. The problem is that over-stretching is often what happens in the tendon in the first place. So stretching again is like adding fuel to the fire. 🔥 Besides, there is very little evidence out there suggesting that stretching can prevent or help fix an injury.
At LDN we tend to focus on 3 variables:
😴Rest: as sports lovers, we do get carried away. But to prevent and recover from injury, our body needs appropriate rest. Take a day off in-between runs. Work out the maximum distance you can do without pain and stay below this. Try to maintain a consistent distance for 3 sessions without flaring your pain up. Your body takes time to adapt to the loads and stresses we put through it.
🦵Strengthening: Often overlooked for stretching but much more important. Have you ever had that feeling of your calves feeling super tight after a run? Although it feels like you need a stretch, it is more of a cry for help from your muscles that they aren’t quite capable of what you’re asking of them. A specific strengthening programme consisting of resistance training + some plyometrics and sport specific work will sort that right out and help improve your performance in the long run (pun intended).
🌯Nutrition: Making sure you are not exercising in a fasting state is important. The body needs expendable energy to meet your motivation & exercise demands. Have a look at ways to get a good intake of protein and carbs immediately after a run. At LDN all our patients are encouraged to chat to our sports nutritionist to support their rehab, which highlights how important nutrition is in the recovery process.
If you suffer from Achilles pain, acute or chronic, get in touch!