| Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis is chronic pain caused by prolonged overloading of the Achilles. This can happen because of running too much on your toes, changing running shoes to one with a significantly less heel-to-toe drop, or even poor running form that has you pushing off more dramatically from your heel. Many of us have periodic Achilles soreness that lessens as the day or a run progresses, which might mean that a more chronic experience is not so far away. If you have Achilles soreness, you need to be pro-active about caring for the tissues in your lower legs and feet.
In general treatment, we focus on muscle groups upstream and downstream of the Achilles. That is, the calves, shins, the bottom of your feet and ankles, all the way out to your toes. If your Achilles pain was preceded by a change in shoes, the quickest resolution is to change back to a pair of shoes with more heel-to-toe drop. Even something simple like strengthening your feet by spending more time walking barefoot or in minimalist shoes is also beneficial.
Coach Nate chronicled his Achilles injury journey with a two part YouTube video series Treating Achilles Injury Part 1 and Part 2
Prescription: 2-3 minutes. After run/workout or during dedicated mobility session.
This exercise comes as no surprise. Keeping the tissues in your calf happy is very important for their function.
Prescription: 20-30 extensions per foot. Before or after workout.
This is a big one if you struggle with stiff toes (which you may be surprised to find you have!). The band will encourage your joints to track into position and will allow for better function in extension. Can be done without the band as well!
Prescription: 2-3 minutes per foot. Before or after workout (we love this after a long day).
Alright, we will be frank. This one isn’t very comfortable (at first), but we promise you will learn to love it. Toes are meant to splay on impact, and we are helping restore that motion with this exercise.
Prescription: 2 minutes each foot.
Stiff ankles can contribute to stiffness throughout the whole lower leg and foot. Increasing your dorsiflexion in your ankle can relieve a lot of stressed tissues!
While we’ve worked with numerous licensed physical therapists to create content, we are not doctors, nor do we claim to be doctors. These exercises are ones we’ve used on ourselves and our clients throughout the years and have selected our favorite, most effective tools to get the job done! If you’re concerned with any exercises, please reach out to your local physical therapist for further guidance!