Why does my achilles hurt when I run?
Achilles tendinopathy is a common overload injury experienced in runners with pain felt in and around the achilles tendon. It is most often associated with an increase in running volume or intensity, or a change of surface or footwear. With Run for the Kids around the corner on the 3rd of April, and the Great Ocean Road Running Festival only a few months away, people are ramping up their training loads, but it is important to do this at a slow rate with adequate recovery times, whilst building on the strength and capacity of the calf and achilles tendon.
Achilles tendinopathy often presents as pain in the achilles, often noticed first thing in the mornings or during the first few minutes of a run, which then eases as you warm up. As you get further into a run, after placing more stress on the tendon, the pain might then return. The morning after a run the pain and stiffness in the tendon may be more noticeable. These symptoms present because the current capacity of the achilles tendon does not match the required capacity of the tendon for the runs you are doing.
Rehabilitation of the achilles tendon involves increasing the tendon’s capacity with progressive loading. Rehabilitation will vary between individuals depending on their current capacity, but will involve improving the strength, endurance and “spring” of the achilles tendon. Running form is also an important consideration, as the way you run might be placing excess load on the achilles. However, it is important to consider the effect changing your running style has on other structures, as loads are redistributed.
If you are experiencing achilles tendon pain, or any other type of niggle, or are simply looking to improve your running efficiency, book in with one of our Physiotherapists to take you through a full running analysis and biomechanical assessment. They will then guide you through a rehabilitation program suitable for you and help you achieve your running goals!
If you have a niggle or are experiencing new pain, don’t hesitate to book in with one of our wonderful Physiotherapists here.