Can I Run with Achilles Tendonitis? The answer to the question in a single word; yes. However, depending on how advanced your condition is, the answer changes by necessity. Running with Achilles Tendonitis is not a question of need but necessity. As a result, the actual question is, “Should you run with Achilles Tendonitis?”
First, let’s understand what is Achilles Tendonitis.
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What Is Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis condition occurs when there is the over stretching of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon joins the calf upper muscles and the lower heel bone. This condition occurs when this tendon is inflamed and irritated. This muscle is involved in a series of activities in the body, like running, walking, jumping, and climbing stairs.
Achilles Tendonitis occurs in two types.
- Insertional Achilles tendonitis
This condition affects the lower part of the Achilles muscle near the heel bone.
- Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis
This condition affects the fibres at the middle of the Achilles tendon and is very common to young people.
You can Also read: What Exercises Help Achilles Tendonitis? Easy 7 Exercises!
Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
The symptoms of this condition depend on how severe the problem is. The main symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis are pains and swelling on the backside of the foot. However, there are other symptoms like tightening of calf muscles, limited range movement, and mild aches.
How to Run with Achilles Tendonitis
Below is a guide of how you should do your physical activities. If you follow these steps, the Achilles tendonitis will fade away.
1. Choose proper shoes.
Wearing heels can be a contributing cause of Achilles Tendonitis. Heels do not allow the Achilles tendon to extend as it is supposed. As a result, this shortens the tendon, which keeps it at risk of being torn.
Similarly, improper running gear can often cause Achilles tendonitis. By running gear, this means your shoes. Therefore, choose the right shoes which are custom-fitted according to the terrain you’ll be running on. When selecting, consider factors like cushioning and stability. These factors improve the interaction between your heel and the Achilles tendon.
2. Treat your muscles before you start.
Before you begin running, treat your muscles, which have aches in your previous run. Apply some heated water and massage the area with the pains and aches. This reduces the level of inflammation and pains in the area.
On the other hand, after every run, ensure you ice the area where you have pains. As a result, you will reduce or prevent the inflammation of the Achilles tendonitis when you rest.
3. Stretch your calf muscles before starting.
People easily forget to stretch before and after running. Stretching enhances your flexibility and range of motion when running. Similarly, ensure you straighten your feet muscles. Straightening prevents the recurrence of Achilles Tendonitis after running.
There are three stretches which are very vital in this stage;
- Runners stretch
This stretch is also referred to as calf stretch. To do this stretch, first, place your hands on the wall at eye level. Then step the leg you want to stress back and ensure the heel touches the floor and the forefoot points forward. Bend the other knee towards the wall while keeping the other straight. Lastly, lean until you feel some loosening of the muscles and repeat this severally.
- Toe-to-wall stretch
This stretch is a bit comfortable than the runners stretch. Start by standing against the wall and your toes against the wall. Then, lean forward and keep your heel on the floor (ensure that the other foot’s heel is on the ground and the forefoot points forward). Hold on and repeat the process several times.
- Heel drop.
Heel drop can be done on a stepladder or the stairs. First, hold on to the support of the stairs or the stepladder. Stand at the stair with the ball of the foot directly at the edge and drop your heel down. Allow the other foot to relax and hold. Repeat the process.
4. Warm-up and gradually intensify your exercise.
As you start running, first to do a warm-up. The warm-up prepares your body for the physical activity you’re about to start. Similarly, they do not have a sudden increase in physical activity. This is because sudden intensification results in stretching of the Achilles tendon. For instance, to increase the distance you run, it is advisable to first run it for two weeks before changing it. This gives your tendons some time to adapt to the distance.
5. Take a break.
Taking a break is the final option you have. If the pain does not end after weeks of trying these steps, it is advisable to take a break. This is because the condition might be severe. Also, consider visiting a doctor for a medical check-up.
3 Risk Factors of Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis is a result of many factors. Below are a few risk factors associated with the condition.
1. Poorly fitting shoes
The shoes you wear affects the gait and posture of your feet. Researching on the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis is of great benefit. Such shoes should have enhancements on cushioning, stability, and flexibility. This, therefore, improves the flexibility and safety of your feet when walking or running with your shoe on.
The water content of tendons decreases with age. As a result, the amount of grip the muscle can withstand also decreases. This increases the Achilles Tendonitis condition in older people as compared to medium aged people.
3. Your gender
According to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov research , males are identified to be at most risk compared to females. The research shows that males are at risk by a factor of 2:1 while females’ factor is 12:1. This huge difference is because of their differences in sports participation.
Achilles Tendonitis can be disturbing sometimes. This condition can keep you away from what you enjoy doing best. It can harden every step you make. However, conscious of its risk factors, you can prevent yourself from the condition.