Have you ever really struggled with that niggly, nagging tenderness in the back of your heel?
Often this is never enough to stop you, but it becomes like that person that constantly wants to talk one-on-one with you at a dinner party, ALWAYS’s demanding your attention.
What happens when you are eventually fed up and you turn to Google for help? You are told lots of information and different treatments. In this article we uncover some of the misleading information that might come your way.
1. You are tight and you need to stretch. While in some circumstances stretching can be helpful however in just as many cases the muscle is not even tight or the stretching will make it worse. This is often one of the most poorly understood concepts with Achilles tendon pain, it is most often caused by overuse or misuse. The first step is to make sure we are dealing with Achilles tendonitis and not one of the many other conditions that can give you pain in this area. The second step is to get to the bottom of why this is happening. What is the trigger and then fix the trigger that is the most important thing to address.
2. This *insert one of the following (cream, shoe, bandage, compression, garment, shoe, orthotic) will fix it! While I wish this were true but it simply is not. To effectively treat this condition, you need:
- The correct diagnosis
- The correct prescription for treatment which is usually a mixture of physical therapy, manual therapy and change in load which is done either through activity, shoes or inserts.
- Persistence and dedication from the patient to transform this tendon from the under performer it currently is into an absolute machine. This is the part we love to see where you go through these stages to come out better and stronger than you were before.
3. It will fix itself if you rest it! Often this proves to be the worst thing you can do! While load reduction is an important step in the process, tendons need to be used to get better. So by completely resting the tendon it becomes weaker. Often it will initially feels better after rest but it breaks down faster and more aggressively than before. This is the tricky balance of knowing how much is too little or too much. THis will be based on each injury and set of circumstances and needs to be tailored for each individual. The good news about this one though is that this means you can continue to move and train and still be heading towards your goals while you recover.
If you are sick of putting up with heel pain then talk to an expert and let’s get rid of that problem once and for all so you can get back to enjoying what you love. 🙂