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Achilles Injuries in Runners


Achilles injuries are a common complaint among runners and can have a massive impact to run and do the thing they love. If you are looking for treatment of an Achilles problem then we specialist expertise to help you get running again.  This page is dedicated to giving people an understanding of Achilles problems, treatment options and solutions to the underlying cause.



Understanding the role of the Achilles tendon and why people develop a problem

When the foot lands during foot-strike the body has the job of shock absorbing. The Achilles tendon and the calf are the suspension of the body, as the ankle bends after foot-strike the calf and Achilles tendon are absorbing the weight of the body. If there is insufficient movement or shock absorption does not take place sufficiently, there is an accumulation of force. The accumulation of force within the tendon can result in tears and injuries. These can then lead to inflammation and pain. During this process, the body will often reflexively respond and create tension in the calf. This increased tension in the calf will further reduce the shock absorbing ability of the Achilles tendon leading to further injury, further weakening of the tendon, and a spiralling of the condition. 

Effective Treatment of Achilles problems in runners

There are many different treatments for an Achilles problem. For long-term resolution in runners, the key ingredient is the analysis and correction of the running style.

Massage and stretching of the calf, foot and hamstring muscles help to reduce tension in the area. This helps to take pressure off the tendon. Mobilisation and specialist massage techniques of the injured tendon can help to speed up the recovery and tissue healing. The above treatment methods are largely ineffective if done on their own, and runners often experience a relapse when they go back to running.

Specialist running coaching from a sports physio will help people address their unique running style in a way that enables the ankle to move in a smooth and effective manner. This helps to improve the bodies ability to absorb shock and therefore helps runners to remain injury free.