Painful Achilles

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16/05/2012 at 15:18
I think stretching might help you, mine isn't swollen either and I've been stretching it a lot which seems to have helped. I just stretched off after a run before but now I'm doing calf, hamstring, quad and piriformis stretched every day
16/05/2012 at 16:01

And you've been running with the injury too?

16/05/2012 at 20:25
Hey, this thread's been busy today!
Gaz, a few things from what you say stand out. Your big toe lifts when you walk barefoot, sounds like you might need to see a podiatrist and work out why it does that. Could be just habit or stiffness in the toe joint and "first ray" (the big toe and the joints at the base of it). You may need a custom built orthotic to help with this.
You also have a history of injury to that ankle that might have caused some ongoing stability issues - hence why your flexor hallucis or tib post are having to work hard.
But and this is a big BUT it could just be your training schedule. Have you rapidly increased your mileage or stuck to the 10% rule? We all have things going on biomechanically, those things I've mentioned above could be of little significance, it may just be too big an increase in training.
16/05/2012 at 21:09
Hey there, yes I've been running, taking it slightly easier than planned but still running. I did 6miles on Sunday then 5 tonight, just at a lsr pace. Stretched before and after and felt fine during the run, still feel fine and been back an hour or so. What's interesting is that when doing a soleus stretch yesterday I really felt it in my ptt, same stretch 3 times today and didn't feel a thing in my ptt so maybe it was just a bit tight?

I've been doing some calf raises too but not sure if that's something that will help or hinder as although its going to strengthen my calves it makes them tighter in the interim..... Hoping for a bit of advice from Tom there.......

Are you running or resting?
16/05/2012 at 21:11
And I think last time it flared up was because of an increase in milage and seems to ne the same this time.... I'm sticking to 10% but maybe I just need to be even more cautious than that!
16/05/2012 at 21:26
Hi Forty_44,
I would stretch gastroc and soleus, especially if they're feeling tight. That will also stretch tib post a little too. Static Stretching is usually best done after exercise/ running hold each stretch for around 30 seconds. Use a dynamic warm up per running with dynamic calf stretches.
Your calf raises should help strengthen tib post, although most of the work will be done by gastroc and soleus. When you do your calf raises, try and make sure the heel doesn't turn out, in fact you could try and work tib post a little harder by turning the heel and foot in a little as you lift, as long as it's comfortable.
Mixing calf strength work with stretches should ensure you gain strength without losing flexibility.
16/05/2012 at 22:00
Cheers Tom, just done a few more calf raises turning my heels in on the lift, definitely feel it in the post tib more..... Thanks for that one. I'm not well up on dynamic stretches, do you know any good websites that show examples of good static stretches and which would you suggest are best for calf / soleus / post tib?
16/05/2012 at 22:03
I like these;
16/05/2012 at 22:19
Cheers..... Nice little cheeky link to your blog there too which I ended up reading some of because my phone won't play the stretch video!
16/05/2012 at 22:46
I didn't know that link was there to be honest! Worth using your computer to watch that video (if your phone won't do it) it's a good one.
17/05/2012 at 09:47

Tom, I wouldn't say that I've increased my mileage rapidly but I did take a two week break after the Brighton Marathon and then jumped straight back into my old routine (30-45 mile weeks). This coupled with the new support trainers definitely had a negative affect on my body.

I've avoided running since Sunday and spent much of yesterday stretching my calves. I opted out of the running club last night and went for a swim. My ankle felt like it was back to normal afterwards. Its a little sore again this morning but it is getting better. I have a massage booked for this evening as my calves felt a little lumpy when rolling them over my foam roller.

I do think that my big toe thing is a habit as I've always done it and it's never caused any problems.

As for supporting my ankle, I tend to avoid strapping it as I want to avoid developing a weak leg and the full support shoes we're just too restrictive. Should I be looking into insoles?

17/05/2012 at 11:55
What I've found over the past few days is similar to you, stretching had helped and I don't feel any pain when running. I'm not thinking about changing my running shoes or adding insoles to them but I am thinking about some off the shelf insoles to use in work shoes / everyday trainers for a bit more support.

I'd maybe just carry on stretching and then build back up to where to were from a mileage point of view and see how it reacts, it might be some residual muscle tightness from your marathon! If you think your toe has always been a bit funky and its never bothered you before then why think about changing anything immediately?

I've never used a foam roller but heard a lot of people talk about them recently...... Would you recommend them?

I'm not a bit fan of taping / supporting either, maybe that's why we are the ones asking questions!!
17/05/2012 at 12:37
Hi Gaz,
I agree with Forty on this - maybe you're just tight post marathon. I've had hip pain since running Brighton marathon and it's only really settled in the last few days with rest from running and a few stretches. I wouldnt worry about insoles or anything at the mo, just ease back into it and hopefully you'll be fine.
17/05/2012 at 12:41

Thanks for the help everyone - I'll report back in a week or so.

17/05/2012 at 20:55
Tom - those dynamic calf stretches are brilliant, thanks!
17/05/2012 at 21:02
No worries, thank Andy Dubois, he came up with them!!
17/05/2012 at 21:09
Will do just that when I next see him!!

I'm thinking of getting a grid roller to help keep my legs loose. Do you have any experience of them?
Edited: 17/05/2012 at 21:47
17/05/2012 at 22:31
Yeah they're really good, going to get a new one soon myself.
19/05/2012 at 15:42

Thanks Tom Goom for sharing Andy Dubois dynamic calf stretches film - will be giving those a go. Am off out for a local off road trot after 3-months of achilles treatment ... all physios and acupunturist have drummed into me is s-t-r-e-t-c-h, s-t-r-e-t-c-h, s-t-r-e-t-c-h ... so fingers-crossed.  Cheers GMx

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