Thursday, May 20, 2010

Achilles Tendon Pain

The Achilles tendon is a very strange animal. Just when you think it's coming good it snaps back at you.

There are (at least) three keys to solving the problem of Achilles tendon pain.

1. You'll get small bit of relief from a number of strategies, it all adds up.

2. There are lot of things you can do.

3. Persistence. If you think you're getting better, don't slack off on what you've been doing.

A couple of principles
There are a few other things to take note of.

Finding the cause of your Achilles tendon pain problem likely to be more difficult than finding the cause of lower back pain.

Having said that there are two places to look

- below the tendon

- above the tendon.

Below the tendon it could be your foot strike and whether you excessively pronate or supinate. You need to go and see a good sports podiatrist to find out whether that is the case or not. You may come away with wedges for your shoes or an orthotic.

You might blanch at the cost of the orthotic - but it if does the trick then it will be worth every penny. It could save you months of angst, frustration and money on physiotherapy treatment and massage.

It could be the way you land. The experts say you need to run more on the balls of your foot than your heels.

The experts are also starting to say you need less cushioning in your shoes, that you don't need expensive Nike running shoes, where most of the money ends up in the pockets of people like that rascals Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan! However, they also say that if you're going to adopt this strategy you need to start working ogradually on the beach or on grass.

Above the tendon it could be tight calves. In fact this is probably a certainty. The best thing I know to relieve tight calves is The Stick which you can get from

You can use it on yourself four or five times a day or get a partner to give your legs a really good rub down at least once a day.

How do I know? I've had Achilles pain and The Stick seemed to make a big difference.

Then there are strength and flexibility exercises you need to do to strengthen and loosen your calves. You've just got to keep doing them.

And, more than any other musculo-skeletal complaint, ice seems to be a very effective way to reduce the inflammation and pain. I found extended periods of icing, hours at a time with an ice pack stuck down the back of a neoprene anklet, to be effective. If you've got a couple of small ice packs, (the packs that you stick in lunch boxes) you can rotate them through your freezer and have one on the go for most of the day and night.

Let's face it, if you've got Achilles tendon pain you're dealing with a monster. I'd hate to put the mockers on you but if you fail to do anything about it and it could last for years.

It would be an exceedingly brave man who said they have all the answers. However, I think I have some of them in the ebook, Fix Achilles Tendon, Calf and Shin Pain which you can get from the website.

Hippocrates said that the physician speaks with more authority if he's had the disease. Well I'm no physician, just a humble physical educator, and Achilles tendon pain is not a disease, but I've had Achilles tendonitis and gradually, bit by bit it's gone.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and tread softly.

John Miller

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