Treat Achilles tendon pain effectively
My first blog post on pubic inflammation received very positive feedback. Therefore, I decided to take this blog seriously and now to report regularly about the effective use of my products in practice. Above all, I want to build a bridge and give the customers of musclevibes ideas about the use of massage pistols, fascia rolls and recovery boots.
Today, it's all about Achilles tendon pain. I believe that the vast majority of runners, but also many other athletes, have suffered from Achilles tendon pain once or twice in their careers. These pains often occur after a rapidly increased range of training or training intensity. Other reasons can be, for example, increased running in the terrain (uphill/downhill), wrong footwear (too tight, too hard heel cap), but also many other things. Usually the pain in the morning and after long sitting, as well as after the workout, is strongest.
It is necessary to distinguish between three categories: an irritation at the base of the tendon, in the middle part, or in the sliding tissue that surrounds the tendon. In addition, there are also two mucus bags (Bursa) on the heel, which can ignite. The exact diagnosis is best made by the expert. This usually requires an ultrasound in combination with an MRI examination.
In fact, research has shown that Achilles tendinitis only in the acute phase really has inflammatory features. If the inflammation becomes chronic, then the structure of the tendon changes, which leads to severe pain. Visually speaking, microtraumas are added to the tendon during training, which the body cannot repair quickly enough. Thus, the tendon increasingly degenerates, loses its stretchability and becomes more prone to an Achilles tendon tear.
Tendons consist of collagen . When the tendons heal, they are first built up by type 3 collagen fibers. These collagen fibers are applied relatively untrubrated in the first healing phase and change over time into correctly aligned collagen fibers of type 1. These are much firmer, but also more flexible. They are exactly the fibres we want.
In the treatment of Achilles tendon pain, the first goal should be to get the pain under control. The best way to achieve this is to pause for a few days and not to further irritate the Achilles tendon. As soon as the acute pain subsides, one should start treatment, as tendons heal extremely badly in peace. Only when tendons are stressed can new collagen fibers form and align correctly. In the acute phase you should avoid running, wear comfortable (open at the back) shoes and cool 3-4x per day (preferably with ice cubes - 1 minute circling on the skin, 1 minute break - for about 10 minutes). Isometric exercises help in this phase. In plain language: stand on the tip of your toes for 30-60 seconds on the affected leg (in case of severe pain, it is easy to lift the heel). Repeat this exercise several times a day if necessary. The pain should get much better quickly. Stretching of the tendon or calf muscles should be absolutely avoided, as this only irritates the tendon even more and tendons are demonstrably not longed by stretching. This is only possible through targeted strength training.
To advance healing, you should start targeted strength training as soon as possible. Here you can mainly perform a mix of isometric exercises (standing on the tip of your toes) and eccentric exercises. The Alfredson Protocol has proved its worth here, but it requires a lot of discipline. In general, pain of the Achilles tendon is usually not a problem, which can be got rid of within a few days, especially if the pain already persists longer and is already chronic.
An important rule is that these exercises are only done on a level when the pain in the middle part of the Achilles tendon prevails. If the tendon at the base is painful, one should do these eccentric exercises on the flat floor and not lower into the stretching of the calf (this further irritates the tendon's approach by stretching). In order to reduce this elongation to a minimum even when running, it is suitable to put heel wedges in the shoes. This reduces the tension of the tendon and thus relieves the strain.
The targeted strength training is aimed at strengthening and lengthing the muscles of the calf. Only in this way can the cells in the Achilles tendon be renewed, the collagen fibers can be aligned correctly and thus the pain can be brought under control. After the isometric (first) and the eccentric (second) phase, the third part follows. In this phase, the tendon is deliberately set to high weights. The keyword here is HSRT (Heavy Slow Restance Training ). The fourth and final phase serves to prepare the tendon back to its actual task (storing and replaying energy). Exercises such as running ABC, rope jumping and plyometric exercises
are suitable for this purpose. Running is expressly allowed during the entire rehab. Only in this way the tendon remains supple and does not wither. However, the training should be adjusted (reduced) so that the pain improves continuously in the long term. On a scale of 1-10, it should not exceed a 4 during training and should return to the starting level within 24 hours. Slight pain is fine with tendon injuries, but they should get better and not worse during rehab.
As part of the treatment, you can use additional help to drive healing forward. The focus should be on the reduction of muscle tone in the calves. For this purpose, excellent fascia rolls (best with vibration for even more effective treatment), as well as targeted massage of trigger points with a massage gun are suitable. Often, loosening of the muscles in the lower back, the plantar tendon, as well as the gluteus Medius helps to further relieve the calves.
My daily routine starts with laying down on the Active Ball S and massaging my lower back (60-90s). Afterwards I take care of the Gluteus Medius by sitting on the vibrating ball and turning small circles until the muscles loosen noticeably (about 60-90s). Then I use the booster Pro3 (the other models do, however, the booster Pro3 has the most power) my calf large area with the large massage attachment. You should not massage too much so that the calves are not overburdened. With the smaller head I massage my plantar tendon for 1-2 minutes. After that I'm ready for training.
After training, I repeat this routine. This time, however, you can massage a little more intensively. Nevertheless, it should not be exaggerated. If the massage is too strong, you do not reduce the muscle soreness, but make it even worse. Therefore, always prefer to massage a little too gently rather than too much.
With Achilles tendon pain, one should not be impatient. Tendons regenerate much more slowly than muscles or even bones. Therefore, for chronic pain, a cure period of at least 12 weeks, but often up to one year (in exceptional cases even longer) must be expected. Running and strength training is not only allowed, but also desired. At the same time, however, one should follow a meaningful structure and consciously manage the pain (scope, intensity, stretching, footwear) and reduce it in the medium to long term.
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