Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that is often seen in people who participate in running-based sports.
The source of the pain comes from the large tendon that attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. When the calf muscle contracts and shortens, the Achilles’ tendon makes the ankle plantarflex. This movement is very important for propulsion when you walk, run or jump.
The tendon can become overloaded with prolonged running and insufficient recovery. This changes the structure and reduces the health of the tendon. Over time small blood vessels and nerves can begin to infiltrate into the tendon. This is the source of pain.
The cause of this problem is when there is a sudden increase in running activities. In athletes, it can occur when there is not enough recovery time between training or competition schedules. There are other factors that can increase the risk. This includes shoe characteristics, running biomechanics and genetics.
The good news? Research has shown that progressive strengthening programs helps to improve the resilience of the tendon and reduce pain.
The program within TrackActive Me will guide you through exercises to strengthen the calf muscles and improve the health of the tendon. You will need to stick to the exercises for several weeks to see a real change.
It is important while doing this program to avoid running. Once you have improved you can gradually return to running. You should keep the speed and distance low to begin with. You should allow one recovery day between each run.
In the meantime, make sure you keep active with other exercises and activities that don’t cause you pain. Swimming and cycling that don’t overload the tendon are a good idea. You can also choose from our library of pilates, stretching and upper body strengthening programs. Just select ‘Stay Strong and Healthy’ in the TrackActive Me chat feature.