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Happy Earth Day: Recycling an old blog on Achilles Tendon Rehab

Happy Earth Day!! While this is a difficult time, and we are all staying home to help stop the spread of COVID 19, the earth is also getting a chance to heal itself. The skies are cleaner and the waters are clearer. When COVID-19 is behind us, we will need to be mindful of the environment and to take individual action, so that we can continue to see the blue skies. During this difficult time, remember to take care of yourself, go for walks, take stock in your life and take the time to get some fresh air and appreciate Earth Day.

The most effective way to reduce waste is to reuse and recycle. So today, we are going to recycle a great, old article on Achilles Tendon Rehab.

Injuries to the Achilles tendon is one of the most common injuries experienced among athletes, especially runners and soccer players. Statistics show that roughly 24% of athletes develop pain in the Achilles. It’s also an injury that can linger for long periods of time, if left untreated. One recent study found that 63% of athletes with Achilles tendinopathy still had symptoms two years after onset.

Causes of Injury to the Achilles:

  • Poor footwear;
  • Repetitive overstretching;
  • Training errors;
  • Abnormal Biomechanics;
  • And the most important:  Repetitive overuse and lack of proper training that causes the building blocks (tenocytes) to be poorly produced.

What does Treatment entail:

Initially one of the main focuses of treatment is decreasing the pain, which can be achieved through rest, manual therapy, taping and heel lifts. After this brief period of rest, a proper graduated exercise program is  one of the best ways to promote tissue repair.

Here are examples:

  • Start with some isometric holds in a slightly lengthened position;
  • Progress onto isometric holds in a lengthened position, but with a focus on one leg at a time;
  • Next, do some concentric heel raises, still in a slightly lengthened position, one leg at a time, lowering yourself down with the support of your opposite foot;
  • Finally, add in some running backwards and stopping in that same lengthened position, in good control. This adds an abrupt stoppage;
  • Progress the last exercise from an abrupt stop to a change of direction.

Watch the video below for examples:

And finally:

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