Achilles tendinitis plagues many active individuals (runners to bikers) and the on the go hard worker. In fact, in a military study 10 of the 69 cadets who participated suffered an Achilles overuse injury. The Achilles tendon is placed under intense strain everyday, with every movement. During running the tendon can be placed under forces seven times greater than body weight. It is no wonder that it is injured so frequently.
This injury is associated with pain in the back of the lower leg from the heel to five inches above. Achilles tendinitis, more appropriately called tendinosis, can occur in the high arched and low arched individual. Most commonly the injury is due to overuse rather than an accident. Chronic tightness in the calf muscles cause increased stress on the tendon. The Achilles begins to tighten and become sore over time and eventually the injury ensues.
Instead of using heel lifts and orthotics, rehabilitative insoles and gentle lengthening of the calf is a better approach. Aggressive stretching can cause increased stress on the tendon and increase the damage to the structure. Relieving trigger points in the muscle bellies with massage or foam rolling followed by gently dynamic, multi-planar stretching appears to be the best protocol for recovery. If pain is worse in the morning a Active Ankle Dns Dorsal Night Splint Small (men 5-10 Women 5-9 1/2) can be helpful during the early stages of recovery.
If you are having Achilles pain or suffer from Achilles tendinosis a Graston, Active Release Techniques or soft tissue manipulation trained Chiropractor or therapist can be beneficial. Click here to see my rehab exercises for Achilles tendinosis.
Yours in health,
Dr. Justin Hildebrand