Tendon pain is by definition pain associated with sudden changes in tendon energy storage and compressive loads, which warms up or improves with activity, and is localised to the tendon (Cook & Purdam 2012).
What does that mean?
This means that any changes in load – running further than usual, running more frequently, changing the surface you run or play sport on or even wearing a different pair of shoes – can all contribute to a tendinopathy.
If there’s one thing about tendons, it is that they do NOT like change!
You’ll often find with tendon pain that the area can feel sore when you start your activity. The area will tend to “warm up” and the pain dissipates, then after you’ve finished usually later that day or evening it will feel stiff and sore again. It tends to be quite a localised pain which can be guided to with one or two fingers to point.
When should you see a Podiatrist for Achilles tendon pain?
Ideally, clinical input should be sought even with a mild niggle of pain. Pain is not normal!
Often though what we see clinically is unrelenting pain that has been present for weeks or months and is not clearing. If you can get onto it sooner it is generally quicker to settle and easier to manage.
A Podiatrist will identify key factors that are contributing to your pain and assist you in load management, and rehabilitation back to your activity.
3 steps to keep a healthy Achilles tendon:
1. Foam roll and stretch the calves
Concentrate on both sides of the calf muscle and focus on loosening any knots within the muscle. Any tightness within the calf muscle will result in more tension within the tendon which can lead to pain in the area.
2. Complete rest does not help!
Although rest may seem like a good option it generally will not help much with your pain. Especially if you are wanting to continue in being active. The most important way to go ahead is through active recovery and avoiding aggravating activites.
3. Slowly increase load
Although it is tempting to push your limits fast, it can sometimes lead to pain and disappointment. It is best to slowly graduate your training and sensibly increase your load. Your tendons will thank you!
For more advice on Achilles tendinopathy please send your questions through, we would love to hear from you!
With you every step of the way!
P: (08) 7226 9901