“Achilles Heel” – Achilles tedinopathies hamper training schedules!!

Posted: August 9, 2012 in Dublin Marathon, Gaelforce Training, Marathon physio, Marathon Training, Physio, Physiotherapy Appointments, Runners - Injuries and exercises, Strength and coditioning., Uncategorized

As preparation for late summer and autumn marathons continues Achilles Tendinopathies  are one of the most common causes of missed training miles/hours. The terminology used to describe them is often inaccurate and is undergoing a significant transition. First to be precise we must consider where along the course of the tendon does the problem exist

Achilles Tendinopathies

  • Increasing incidence of overuse injuries in  all sports
  • caused excessive repetitive overload of the tendon
  • Affects athletes, fitness enthusiasts and even inactive people
Do I Have a Tendinopathy or Tendinosis??
  • Tendinopathy: generic descriptor of the clinical conditions in and around tendons arising from overuse
  • Tendinosis: tendon degeneration without clinical or histological signs of inflammation
  • Tendinitis: inflammation of the tendon itself. Rarely occurs histologically
  • Paratenonitis: includes peritendinitis, tenosynovitis and tenovaginitis
The Achilles TendonImage
  • —Thickest and strongest tendon in the human body
  • —Combined tendon of the gastrocnemius/soleus muscle
  • —Has no synovial sheath
  • “hypovascular” – poor blood supply

Up to 12 times your Body Weight is transmitted  through your Achilles tendon when sprinting!

 Clinical Presentation
  • often coincides with  an increased training intensity or volume
  • —may come on gradually
  • —morning stiffness after a tough training session
  • —may actually improve with activity and training but pain increases post training
 Causes/Risk factors
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of Achilles issues, It’s rarely one in isolation.
  • increase in activity – eg increasing in mileage too quickly  (distance, speed, gradient)
  • —not enough recovery times between hard  training sessions
  • —change of surface, footwear
  • —increased load on the calf muscles
  • —calf weakness, poor muscle flexibility, restricted joint range of the ankle
  • decreased forefoot flexibility
  • genetic predisposition


  • relative rest – reduce/change training
  • review footwear
  • Assess flexibility and strength of lower limb
  • improve running technique/footstrike and biomechanics

Treat it early and don’t let this happen!!

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