Running: Tips for combatting Achilles tendon pain

Since I’m running my first marathon in September, I figured I’d add running into the mix with a new category on my blog.

I have been gradually increasing my mileage in preperation for the Berlin marathon in September and have started to develop a few injuries along the way, the latest being achillies tendon pain.

As you’ll probably know, stretching and the correct footwear are the two most important injury prevention techniques for runners so I thought I’d share a technique that worked for me.

After seeking advice from my physiotherapist, I decided to invest in a foam roller which provides relief by deeply massaging muscles, aiding recovery and preventing injury.  Rollers are cheap and easy to use at home and it only takes a couple of minutes to really feel the benefits.

Foam Roller

I find these much better than self-massage and, after using them for a few months now, think that they give me the best relief from achilles tendon pain. Stretching has helped my achilles tendons, but massaging my calves really has loosened up the whole of my lower leg.
 
This exercise focuses on the achilles and calf. It really gets to the these muscles efficiently. It can hurt at first if you are really tight, but the benefits are noticeable pretty quickly.
 
Start position

Put both legs on the roller at the lowest part of the ankle as possible with one leg crossed over the other. You should be supporting yourself on your hands so your bottom is off of the floor.

End position

Gently roll your leg down the roller until it reaches under your knee. There will be some knots along the way and these can be ironed out with gentle rolls.

Take note

You’ll probably feel several knots along the way. If you do then you can roll over the kot slowly several times – kind of ironing it out.
 
Work for about a minute on each leg.

A strengthening programme to help the knee joints is:

1) Single leg balancing
2) Single leg mini-squats
3) Double leg squats emphasising control, not heavy lifting
4) Core-stability exercises
5) Side-lying leg lifts with an out-turned foot

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