Slightly sore Achillies tendon

11 messages
20/11/2012 at 17:35

I've never had this problem before, but I have had a dodgy knee for years before I took up running.  Naturally, the knee was the first thing to give me problems and after much frustration with it, physio and so on, I decided to get a knee support.  Knee problems: gone - barely a whisper, which I was delighted with.

However, I have now noticed a slightly sore achillies tendon during running, that itsn't going away afterwards.  Could the knee support somehow be causing this and either way, is it OK to run with a slightly sore achillies?  The support has to be fairly tight in order not to slip down - could that be having an effect?  It'll be damn annoying to solve one problem, only for the solution to bring about another problem! 

Thanks in advance.

20/11/2012 at 17:52

I can only say that I've been wearing a knee support for several years now without ever having had any achillies problems so I'd be surprised if yours was leading to issues somewhere else.In my case I'm sure there's no longer any need for the support but I prefer to wear it anyway "just in case".

20/11/2012 at 23:11

How do I know if it's OK to run on it?  I don't want to find out the 'hard way' - if I need to rest it, I will, but if I can get out there then I'd like that.  I've just sorted out the knee annoyance after all!

21/11/2012 at 14:12

Well, it seems better now, so I'll rest it this week and give it a try next week.

21/11/2012 at 16:13

Its possible the support has slightly altered your kinematics at the knee when running (by changing angle of flexion / extension or rotation at the knee) - same effect as taping or strapping a joint by altering propriceptive feedback as well as physically limiting movement.   Virtually impossble to say exactly what but doesn't really matter anyway.

Changing the way the knee moves (even slightly) means position of foot strike may have altered (multply that over '000s of foot strikes) creating a different tension on the achilles tendon which is why its complaining now. 

The AT should adapt to the forces its subjected to as long as the "too much, too soon" rule isn't broken.   I'm sure you know Achilles problems can be very hard to treat so tread it carefully (sic).  I'd advise icing achilles on a stretch after exercise.  When youre sitting down, ball of your foot on coffee table and drop heel for a GENTLE calf stretch.  Use an ice cube to rub up & down both sides of achilles until ice cube melts.  Keep it moving on the skin or risk an ice burn.

Theory is tendon has quite plastic properties, so needs to be gently & eccentrically  stretched to 'mould it' into a lengthened position.  Hence hanging heel off table - don't be tempted to push heel down - doesn't need it and may only irritate the tendon. Keep relaxed.    Hope that helps.

 

Too often collegen fibres in a relaxed tendon will contract slightly as cooling down, thereby slightly shortening tendon and increasing risk of tearing (microscopically) again on next run.

21/11/2012 at 18:09

...not sure some of the above info is on the money, or anywhere near it

The knee brace may well help, but it won't get rid of the why it hurt in the first place - and that's why your achilles was giving you problems. I'm sure the issue is still out there

Rest may well help, but getting back to activity is key.

21/11/2012 at 19:10

So take it easy until I've got used to the new way of running with the knee support?  Perhaps I'll just stick to 5km for now then, and look at getting back into the 10k plan in the New Year at some point.

22/11/2012 at 09:23

Maybe now your knee doesn't hurt you're running further? Increase slowly. Try massaging your calf muscles (need to tackle medial and lateral gastroc AND soleus - look it up) every evening and morning (works for me and was particularly essential during the process of converting to minimal footwear).

22/11/2012 at 10:20

I said it could be potentially be that, just a thought.  WHY don't you think some its on the money 6physio??   You know should back up your statements!  

@rr76 I would do the ice on a calf stretch though.  EVERY client's minor achilles 'niggle' has cleared up when they started doing that for me.   Of course you should be doing the straight knee (gastroc, plantaris) and bent knee (soleus, tibailis posterior, toe flexors) calf stretches as standard as well.   I would stick to smaller distance races and gradually build up again on training runs.

     

22/11/2012 at 10:53

You have 707 forum posts and profile shows you have been running 1-3 years so you are not an absolute beginner. Your post says you have not had this problem before, despite the "dodgy knee". Why now? I do not suspect the "dodgy knee" although I suggest you ask your physio to look at the achilles before it gets any worse.

Your profile mentions 32 miles in new shoes. Are these a different make or model?  

I had such an achilles problem until I stopped tying my shoelaces too tightly. I also found that there are different ways of tying shoe laces (there is something on this website). Previously I had resorted to cutting off the heel tab of my running shoes, drastic but it did work. A 'Sorbothane' heel insert will raise your achilles a little so it is not irritated by the tab at the back of your shoe. 

If you are running hills watch not to overstride while climbing as that can make your knee wobble and your achilles twist as you push upwards. On your descent if you brake too much your knee will suffer jarring and your achilles may dig back into the tab at the back of the shoe. Lean forward slightly and let gravity take you downhill. Generally keep your feet under your body while running.

If you always run the same route(s) you may be on the camber of the pavement or road meaning one leg will be at a slightly higher level than the other and that can over time give you back, hip, knee and achilles problems. Doing the route(s) in the opposite direction alternately can help.

Good luck.

 

 

 

22/11/2012 at 14:28

Thanks for that.

As I said, I only noticed the soreness after I started wearing the knee support.  You said that you had issues until you stopped tying your shoelaces tightly - could it be that I've been doing the knee support up too tight? 

Thanks for the advice about hills as well - generally when going down, I relax and let gravity do the work.  The first time I noticed the achillies soreness, I did attempt a faster run up a hill - maybe that combined with not being used to the knee support caused a bit of an issue?

As to my profile, I've been forgetting to update that - so it's well out of date.  My shoes aren't old though, and I have a newer pair that I rotate them with.  Both pairs are Asics Gel 1160; the only difference is the colour.   Interesting point about the route, I'd never thought of that.

If the soreness doesn't clear up, or I keep noticing it during runs, then I'll go to the physio again - but I'm not going to do any running this week, and then stick to 5k for a while.  Annoying though - I thought I'd just cleared up one problem, and then another one pops up. 

As you stated, I'm not an absolute beginner, but because of the knee problem I had to have a long break, during which I had physio etc, so I'm only just working my way back up to 10k now (before the knee problem, my best was 15k).  Still, to be safe, I'll stick to 5k for a while and do my less hilly routes as well.

Edited: 22/11/2012 at 14:30

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