Mild Achilles Pain - What to do? Run or not to run

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 montyjohn 10 Jun 2024

A couple a weeks ago I decided I was superman so decided to increase my mileage and intensity in the same week. I felt great at the time so why would I get injured? Well obviously!

Anyway, after my long run on that week I had some mild pain in one of my achilles tendons. Felt fine during the run. The pain went after a couple of days.

Went for another run a few days later and had some mild pain the following day, then felt fine after that.

Then went for one more very gentle run, and again mild pain the day after.

Then went to do some indoor bouldering (I was pain free at the time), and forgot about my tendon, and the landings must have strained it, and I've had mild pain now for about five days.

I haven't run in that time.

As the pain is so mild, I'm tempted to go for a very gentle jog today, but can't decide if that's very silly or not. 

I've got a physio booked in, but it's not for another 8 days.

 Spready 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

I can only speak from experience rather than medical expertise... 

Over the years I've had issues with both Achilles at different times (approx 8 years apart)..
Both due to increasing running speed/distance too fast and not properly stretching/resting before and after etc etc...

Both times I have not allowed them to heal and then that caused further issues and longer recovery. 

Advice is born from my experience..
I use an elliptical trainer to break up running... could use a bike/rower etc...
I stretch more before and after. 
Calf lowers on a step really helped... (Do not lift up on the calf... but use upper body to lift back up.. But use the calf to lower. )

For now, I'd rest it, and don't be tempted to run... I also used heat/ice in early stages.
Then after hearing advice from the Physio, start slowly in distance and do all the stretching etc before and after.. 
Achilles can be a nightmare to heal up and both of mine took a long time after ignored all the early warnings!!

Good luck


 john arran 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

I had achilles/calf problems quite recently, caused by a sudden increase (from hardly any at the time) in running frequency and not enough stretching. I'd give it a while to recover before trying again (starting from about 3 days and up to about 10) but each time it came back. Finally I got rid of it by a month of no running combined with daily back and calf stretching. It's been fine since.

OP montyjohn 10 Jun 2024
In reply to Spready and John:

Thanks both. Sounds like a fairly consistent answer. Looks like I need to spend some time fixing my bike. I'll borrow my wife's bike today so I at least feel like I've achieved something.

 compost 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

Eccentric heel drops

Eccentric heel drops

Eccentric heel drops

Eccentric heel drops

I started with 2 sets of 10 on each leg and built up to currently doing 3 sets of 20 most days.

Edit: 50p says you'll be running in 3 weeks

Post edited at 11:48
 JamButty 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

Don't run!!!

I'm in the same boat,  I stopped running a few weeks ago,  but continued to do some walking mileage on it,  and it was hurting lots the following day,  took the decision I need to back off before it becomes a longer term problem.

Follow all the usual exercise recommendations

 mountainbagger 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

Where on the Achilles is the pain? Treatment for Achilles tendonitis vs Achilles insertional tendonitis is a bit different. If the pain is down on the heel where the tendon attaches, then that is insertional and so be careful with eccentric heel drops! They can be counterproductive.

I've had varying advice from physios and podiatrists, so make sure your physio is a good one that knows the difference (I'm sure they will but I wasn't so lucky).

 wbo2 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohnoes it go away of you walk to warm it up? If so, do that, and stretching as encouraging a little blood flow is a very good thing.

But I wouldn't run I tihnk

OP montyjohn 10 Jun 2024
In reply to mountainbagger:

From pinching it, the pain is where I have highlighted in yellow. Strangely if a squeeze form the back of the tendon it doesn't hurt, but if I punch from the sides it feel sore.

I have no pain on the heel.

OP montyjohn 10 Jun 2024
In reply to wbo2:

> Does it go away of you walk to warm it up? 

Yes. When I first wake up, the first five minutes of walking are quite sore. Gentle walking after this if painless.

> But I wouldn't run I tihnk

 Ridge 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

As others have said, don't try and 'run it off', that way lies months of recovery. Eccentric heel drops, and also don't forget the rest of the legs and hips. If your achilles are weak/tight the rest of you probably is too.

 CantClimbTom 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

If that's the case and it's at the lower section of the tendon, when you do the eccentric heel drops .. DON'T go into a deep stretch at the bottom, stop the heel drops when heel hits 90 (foot parallel to floor)degrees. Otherwise going deeper puts pressure on the area and can make it more sore 

 PFitz 10 Jun 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

This is a very good guide and fixed it quickly for me:

Eccentric heel drops are the key

if it’s insertional don’t go past level with the drops (IE don’t do them on a step) and add resistance by wearing a weighted pack instead when they get to east

plus maybe some sorbothane heel wedges in your shoes when you start running again to increase the drop and take some strain of your Achilles…

Good luck

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