Longtime readers of JYAJ know that I suffer from Achilles Tendinitis every so often. It turns out that this injury is pretty common. Runner’s World suggests that Achilles tendinitis represents 11% of all running injuries. That means 1 in every 10 jogglers in this community probably suffer from it. But how do you know and what should you do about it?
What is Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis is a pain in the back of your leg just above your ankle. For me there’s a pain zone in my right leg that stretches from the bottom of my calf down to my ankle. Strangely, when pushing on the top portion of the pain zone there’s a tingling in the ankle. Weird.
Causes of Achilles Tendinitis
They say that this injury is caused by various things like training too much, running hills, trauma, having inflexible hips, or running on a track too often.
What to do about Achilles Tendinitis
When I told my doctor about it, she suggested ibuprofen and rest. That advice was practically worthless as I was already doing those things. However, it did give me confidence to run on it even if experiencing a little pain. She didn’t seem to think I would injure myself more. I also tried things like stretching and icing. Don’t know if they really work but doing something makes me feel better about it anyway. It also makes me feel like a “real” runner. Here is a list of things you can try if you have Achilles Tendinitis.
1. Rest. Take it easy on the legs. A two week hiatus from running two years ago helped immensely.
2. Try a different sport for a while. Swimming is a good alternative. Or just practice your numbers juggling or learn a few new juggling tricks.
3. Stretch. One stretch you can try is to stand facing a wall. Put your foot on the wall (of the afflicted leg) while keeping the heal on the ground. Then push forward with your leg. Hold this for 10-15 seconds and repeat. Do this before and after each of your runs. Here’s some more Achilles stretches you can do.
4. Ice it. Stick your foot in a bucket of ice water. Hold it there for 15 minutes or for as long as you can stand it. You should do this after every run.
5. Wrap it. If it’s really painful you can wrap your foot with an Ace bandage. Wrap in a figure 8 pattern. But don’t do this for too long. You don’t want your body to get used to it.
6. Anti-inflammatories. The doctor said these would work but I never saw much use. They can help with the pain so that is nice.