Achilles Tendonitis is a pain in the Achilles tendon often where it attaches to the heel bone. Another name this injury goes by is Achilles tendinopathy as there is question to whether there is actually inflammation (the ‘itis’) in the injury. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is sometimes diagnosed too, signifying that the bursa sac under the Achilles is inflamed. Then you’ve got names like heel spur, bone spur, and my favorite – the “pump bump” when there is an obvious swelling on the back of the heel. Call it what you like, there’s a problem in the lower leg.
The Achilles is the tendon attachment of the two calf muscles – the gastrocnemius and the soleus. These muscles provide your power when running (especially uphill) and jumping. They are very susceptible to stress as their function is closely related to the adrenal gland organs and cortisol (stress hormone) production. This is why if you’re exercising too much, too often, and too hard, you’ll most likely injure your foot or calf muscles resulting in names like Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or shin splints. But remember, it’s more important to diagnose WHY you have a problem rather than exactly WHAT you have. So whether you’re told you have tendonitis, bursitis, or a good ol’ pump bump, it means your calf muscle(s) aren’t working well and you’re biting off more than you can chew.
In the Achilles tendonitis video I show ways to find the trigger points in the calf muscles to help relieve the pain and start to heal the injury in the Achilles tendon. As with any injury, there is some local therapy that needs to take place as well as a resolution to WHY the injury occurred in the first place. Are you wearing the wrong type of shoes? – too high of a heel? – too much support? These types of shoes will weaken your feet and can result in an Achilles problem. Think minimalist footwear and stay barefoot as much as you can to strengthen your feet, lower legs, and entire body. Orthotics? – not a good idea either. They support the foot and lower leg dysfunction.
Excess anaerobic training will soon stress the adrenal glands too much and often result in an injury. Read about exercising aerobically and building a solid aerobic base on the Sock Doc site.
And too much emotional stress can result in injury too. Do you work 60+ hrs a week and are under a lot of stress? See if you’re living an aerobic lifestyle here.
Lastly, the nutritional component is often of utmost importance. Hydrogenated fats, refined sugars, MSG, and other processed foods can all wreak havoc on your health and cause so much stress you’ll end up with an injury. Nutritional problems often set the stage for physical injuries. Read about nutrition here.
Remember, your Achilles tendonitis is an injury that is telling you you’ve overtrained – either on the bike, on the track, in the pool, at home, in the office, or in life.