How to Overcome Your Achilles Tendon Pain From Running

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on August 13, 2017

runner with achilles tendonitisDo you suffer Achilles tendon pain from running? Achilles tendonitis is one of the most common foot problems experienced by runners.

Over training characterized by excessive or sudden increase in repetitive movement can lead to Achilles tendon pain.

Fortunately, it can be treated by a New Hampshire podiatrist, so seek a proper diagnosis immediately if you have pain near your Achilles tendon. 

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

Your Achilles tendon is the length of tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. When this band of tissue becomes swollen, you may experience pain in the back of your leg just above your heel, a condition commonly known as Achilles tendonitis.

How does your Achilles tendon get swollen? It becomes inflamed due to tight calf muscles and/or improper footwear. If you're a runner who trains too hard, especially suddenly, or wears running shoes that lack proper support, you are most likely putting excessive stress on your Achilles tendon and making yourself vulnerable to Achilles tendonitis.

How do You Overcome Achilles Tendon Pain Caused by Running?

If you are experiencing Achilles tendon pain or any other kind of foot pain from running, call a New Hampshire podiatrist! Your treatment plan will depend on the cause of your pain and the severity of your diagnosis.

Your podiatrist will conduct a thorough examination, obtain x-ray images if necessary, and recommend self-care measures, on-site treatment, or surgery. A mild case of Achilles tendon pain can sometimes be overcome by the well-known R.I.C.E. strategy.

  • R: Rest. Stop running, limit the strain put on your heel and feet, and consider using crutches. It's okay to rest!
  • I: Ice. Apply an ice pack to the painful area for 15-20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling.
  • C: Compression. Elastic bandages may help reduce the pain and inflammation.
  • E: Elevation. Keep your foot elevated above your heart as much as possible, including while you're sleeping, to reduce swelling. 

For mild-to-moderate Achilles tendon pain, your podiatrist may recommend periodic icing, foot massage, specific stretching exercises, cessation of physical activities like running, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen, and other measures.

If your pain is severe, your Achilles tendon is torn, or conservative treatment does not work, your podiatrist may recommend orthotic devices, physical therapy, and/or surgery. 

Can Achilles Tendonitis be Prevented?

There's no guarantee you can completely prevent foot problems if you're a runner, but there are steps you can take to limit your risk of getting Achilles tendonitis. 

  • Wear the proper shoes. Some shoes are better for your feet than others when it comes to running. You should run in shoes that support your feet well, are comfortable, provide enough cushion, and match the arch in your foot. If you have a particularly high arch, your running shoes should as well. 

  • Stretch, Stretch, Stretch! Stretch your calf muscles before and after every run. You can prevent Achilles tendonitis by stretching your Achilles tendon every morning.

  • Exercise. Do regular exercises and cross-train in another sport. Engage in high-impact and low-impact exercises and activities alternately to maintain flexibility and prevent repetitive stress on your Achilles tendon.
     
  • Step up your training efforts gradually. Increase your speed and running time incrementally and slowly. Sudden increases in training intensity make you especially susceptible to Achilles tendon pain. 

  • Know when to rest. When you're in pain or fatigued, let yourself take a break. It's better to avoid injury that keeps you from running completely than to skip a run when you're not feeling up to it or you're in pain. 

See Your Podiatrist for Achilles Tendon Pain Due to Running

Don't try to diagnose your foot problems on your own. X-rays may be required in order for you to get the right diagnosis, and you need the right diagnosis before you can get the right treatment. 

If you have questions or concerns about Achilles tendon pain from running, contact a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare. We believe you should not have to suffer foot pain, you deserve to understand your diagnosis and treatment, you should get results as quickly as possible, and we want to help you!

At Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.

5 Reasons Runner Shouldn't Ignore Their Foot Pain- eBook

Topics: Foot Problems, Running

We are committed to providing educational information because, at Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.

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