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How to Treat and Prevent Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis or regular achilles pains are injuries many runners come across in their running career.

Reason enough to learn more about them so you know what to look out for!

Your achilles connects your calf muscles with your heel bone.

When your achilles has to work too hard it starts to hurt.

It tightens.

It can feel like it is burning. This is what they call achilles tendinitis or a achilles tendon injury.

In this section I'll cover the following questions:

  • What causes achilles tendinitis?

  • How can you prevent achilles tendinitis?

  • How do you treat achilles tendinitis?

  • When do you go to the doctor?

  • What Causes Achilles Tendinitis?

    Beginner Running Tips Couple

    Achilles tendinitis is caused by stress on the achilles.

    More stress than the achilles can take.

    This typically happens when:

  • You increase your mileage too much
    when you increase your mileage more than is good for you, your body, including your achilles, will have to work too hard. Learn more about increasing mileage safely.

  • You do too much speedwork in your running training.
    Speedwork is fun. But when you do too much you will put too much stress on your body. Always make sure you do a very good warm-up before your speed sessions and cool down properly afterwards.

  • You are doing more hill work than is good for you.
    I used to live in The Netherlands, easily one of the flattest countries in the world, so not much chance for me to do too much hill work there. But on holidays, like when I went to Tuscany, I take my chance to run in the hills. After a longer hilly run my achilles is the first one to tell me it is time for a rest day!

  • You overpronate
    Don't know what pronation is? When you overpronate your arch moves too far inward when your foot lands on the ground. This can cause an achilles tendon injury like achilles tendinitis.

    How Can You Prevent Achilles Tendinitis?

    Well, just look at the causes above and eliminate them !

  • Follow a safe and sound running program

  • Prevent excessive hill work

  • Check your shoes

  • But then we forget an important extra possibility to prevent achilles tendinitis:

    Making your legs stronger through stretching and strengthening.

    There are some exercises you can do. Good exercises are:

    Heel drops to make your achilles stronger:
    Stand on a curb with the front of your feet. Then let your heels drop. Hold for a while (count slowly to five). And then lift again. Repeat.

    Heel lifts to make your calves stronger:
    Stand on the floor. Then lift your heels. Slowly count to five and drop your heels again. Repeat.

    How Do You Treat Achilles Tendinitis?

    Beginner Running Tips Couple

    How to treat achilles tendinitis?

    Well, there are a few different ways to do that:

  • (Self-)Massage

  • Massaging your achilles can help to make your achilles a bit more flexible.

  • Ice

  • Putting ice on your achilles for 15-20 minutes at a time will help against the inflammation.

    Note with icing: do it for 15-20 minutes, it takes time for the ice to start working. Do it shorter and you will only cool down your skin, but don't do any work on your tendons.

    Also note that it is recommended that you ice the achilles once every two hours. That's a lot of icing, more than most of us can do with jobs, taking care of kids and whatever else we do. Simply try to do it as much as possible.

  • Use a specialized achilles tendon injury product

  • See the section below.

    Achilles Tendon Injury Products

    Below I have a carefully selected group of products that help solve your achilles tendon problems. Self-massage and icing are good first steps. But want faster relief? Want to get back into running as quickly as possible? Then it may pay off to have a look at some of the products below!

    Silipos Achilles Heel Sleeve
    The Silipos Achilles Heel Sleeve provides amazing relief from heel maladies like an achilles tendon injury or other heel pain issues you are dealing with.

    Cho-pat Achilles Tendon Strap
    The Cho-pat Achilles Tendon Strap provides relief and support.

    Bauerfeind AchilloTrain Pro Achilles Tendon Support
    Relieve pain and swelling with the lightweight, breathable Bauerfeind AchilloTrain Pro Achilles Tendon Support

    When do you go to the doctor?

    When the issue gets worse, even after self-treatment, then go see a doctor.

    Beginning achilles pains are not a reason necessarily to immediately go to the doctor.

    But if your self-treatment and some of the excellent products above do not help, then you should consider getting medical treatment.

    Wish to have all the best running tips at your disposal?
    Subscribe to the Best Running Tips Newsletter or to the Best Running Tips Blog!

    Go from Achilles Tendinitis Page to Running Injuries Page

    Go from Achilles Tendinitis Page to Best Running Tips Homepage

    Running Injuries
    Running Injury Prevention
    Foot Injuries: Foot Pain | Black Toenail | Stress Fractures | Posterior Tibial Tendonitis |
    Heel Injuries: Heel Pain | Achilles Tendinitis | Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis |
    Knee Injuries: Knee Pain | Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB) |
    Leg Injuries: Leg / Calf Cramps | Shin Splints | Hamstring Injury | Hip Pain
    Upper Body Injuries: Nipple Chafing | Side Stitch | Back Pain | Chest Pain

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