Let’s talk about Achilles Tendinitis or as previously discussed “Tendinopathy” might be the better term to describe a problematic tendon issue. This can happen acutely like after a long run for the first time in a while or high intensity workout or chronically over time from continual over usage. Like other tendon issues this usually develops from an overuse type injury from repeated and excessive load placed through the tendon without giving it enough time to remodel and increase its load capacity. Activity that involves quick and rapid loads to this tendon can be aggressive and unable to tolerate that type of repetitive impact, especially with poor mechanics. The achilles needs to be able to absorb and quickly rebound and produce force in the opposite direction, and when this is done with too much load it can acutely lead to inflammation of the achilles tendon.
Athletes with this condition will often feel pain either right at the insertion point to the heel bone (called the Calcaneus) or a couple centimeters above the Achilles insertion point. In younger children and adolescents who are still growing it is more often tender at the connection to the Calcaneus (heel bone) and this load can sometimes develop into Sever’s Disease, and this can often be very tender to touch. The connection point is a very vulnerable site near the growth plate, and with repeated high-level activity during sports this region gets pulled from the tensile forces through the tendon.
In order to treat this type of injury you will need to give the tendon the right stimulus in order to induce it to remodel properly and establish the nice parallel collagen fiber alignment. Many research studies have shown that the best way to allow this to occur is the use of slow heavy tensile load through the tendon. The best way to do this is with the use of eccentric muscle activation; where the muscle and tendon fibers are slowly lengthened under tension, slowly lowering and lengthening the tendon with a heavy load.
Eccentrics have been shown to be the best way to provide slow heavy load because it allows for the most control of such a force that the tendon needs to remodel. This should be performed very slowly as in over 8-10 seconds while going through the full range of motion. WIth this exercise a mild amount of pain is expected and acceptable. The key with this type of muscle activation is lengthening the muscle tissue under tension. Think of picking a heavy object out of a truck and slowly lowering it down to the ground and then trying to pick it up and put it back in the truck with the same controlled speed, a lot harder.
If you’re still battling pain you can’t seem to shake and this problem is limiting you from doing the activities that you LOVE, give us a shout today at 561-899-8725 or email us directly at Team@AthleteRC.com we can directly diagnose what the problem is and how to solve it together for the long-term.
Imagine getting that pain fixed – allowing you to really get after your workouts and do the activities you LOVE most in life. We can help solve this problem for you.