5 Tips for Running with Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis can come with one of the most uncomfortable and even painful experiences as a runner. If your condition is not severe and if you can still run or if you are coming back after an injury, there are a few good tips you can apply to improve your situation. Although the results of these tips will largely depend on your situation, they might still work as a great solution to minimize the stress on the tendon.
Achilles Tendonitis – Causes and Measures
There are many causes of Achilles tendonitis but it will be worth noting many of the symptoms are general and can apply to your situation as well. For example, a decreased strength in the calf muscle can put extra pressure on the tendon. Obesity, hypertension and even the wrong shoes can also come with an increased risk of tendonitis. There are many more causes of the issue but what can runners do to improve the condition?
When it comes to Achilles tendonitis, resting plays an important role. If typically you would rest simply by staying away from running, this time you would also need to stay off your feet. With reduced stress on your lower body, you will allow your feet to heal. Even more, a good sleeping routine will prove important. Your body will recover while sleeping and this is why you may even want to sleep longer, at least until you feel fully recovered and ready to run at full capacity again.
2. Use the right running shoes
The condition will even imply you will need to upgrade your shoes. Achilles tendonitis risk is increased when there is little support in the heel area. For example, if your prefer barefoot running, the tendon will be under a considerably increased stress since it will have to stretch more before the leg is ready to leave the ground.
With good heel support, the tendon will get a reduced activation and this is why so many manufacturers will actually focus their main efforts with extra cushioning in the heel area as it will remain in a higher position then the forefoot. This means that if you are already suffering from Achilles tendonitis, you might even consider purchasing shoes with a higher heel platform and better cushioning in this essential area, at least until your feet at back to full running capacity.
3. Stretch and warm-up meticulously
Stretching is one of the best methods to allow the area to warm-up and get the extra blood flow which can be beneficial when it comes to preventing the condition. This is why you may even increase the time spent stretching beyond the 10-minute mark and you will have to try different techniques to get an improved mobility and a decreased risk of stiff tendons.
There are many stretching techniques you can try but as you come out of Achilles tendonitis, you may even try to gradually improve your mobility with simple movements but performed correctly and even for longer periods of time than with your regular routines.
Even more, using a foam roller you can activate the muscles and the blood flow even more but you will need to ensure you are not forcing the tendon as you will want to avoid aggravating the situation. Furthermore, there are many great solutions which can keep your muscles relaxed. One of the solutions which may not be as recommended is the relaxation using a tennis ball for the underfoot which may even stretch the tendon even further. While it is a great solution when you are in top shape, it may not prove to be the best approach when you are facing tendonitis.
4. Isolation exercises
Isolation exercises are very undervalued in a world where compound movements are highly advised by many athletes. But in some situations, isolation exercises will target specifically the area you want to improve and which may also need the help of the extra strength. This means that isolation exercises like calf raises will prove to be one of the best techniques to improve the biomechanics of the posterior chain of your lower leg. This will lead to an improved strength and even healthier and stronger tendons. When it comes to prevention exercises, this simple movement can come with impressive results which will finally lead to an increased feeling of security in the lower leg. While you should not overload the calf with extra weight, you can use the exercises with no weights to improve the movement and stretch the tendon when needed.
5. Look for help
If your condition aggravates or if you feel you cannot handle it on your own it is always a good indication to seek help. This will be one of the best options when it comes to working with a physician and this is why you will need to look for the best alternative in your area.
Together with a specialist, you can have the right approach when it comes to a good recovery and even some great tips on how to prevent or minimize the risk of tendonitis in the future. It will also be important to consider all the advice you receive and even approach this from a more complex perspective.
Nutrition and hydration may need some improvements in the future as to provide the body with the needed nutrients for stronger tendons and muscles. Even more, improved blood flow in the legs will be crucial for your recovery and there are some nutrients which can help with this purpose as well.
Since there are so many great tips you can apply when it comes to running with Achilles tendonitis, you will also need to look for the best solutions when it comes to a complex approach which will help you understand the condition as this will be the base for an improved recovery and a reduce injury risk in the future. If you are a dedicated runner, it may even help to discuss your training plan with a specialist for the best long-term results.