Archive for October, 2013

The Unwanted Brake: Dreaded Achilles Tendinitis

October 30, 2013

Running often makes you feel high but sometimes saps life out of your body. You feel good may be because of  finishing a target distance, achieving a PR but on the other side you might afflict injuries that put a sudden break to your future plans. In an ideal situation we should limit our lows to zero but adrenalin rush often eclipses our wisdom and knowingly or unknowingly we get trapped in the vicious cycle of injuries.

Human treat their bodies like cars in some sense- Most of the time we tend to ignore subtle wear & tear till there is a complete break down. Marathon is a demanding sport and requires a scientific approach as well as a  proper plan. We often assume that if nothing untoward had happened to you in the past, nothing is going to bother you in future till you suffer from injury. I had tryst with my first running injury in July this year- Achilles Tendinitis.

Case History: I use to have a severe unbearable pain whenever something use to strike at a point just above my heel on the back side of my foot, which means I was having some issues with Achilles tendon. I decreased my pace in hot summers but increased my mileage. The increase in mileage was totally random. I started feeling a bit of pain whenever I pressed the inner side of my legs near shin bone. On 23th July, I decided to go for a faster 5km on a hard surface wearing my old torn shoes. Race was a complete catastrophe. I started having permanent pain near heel as well as on the inner side of leg near shin bone.  

First Reaction after Injury: I treated pain as just another pain that vanishes with a bit of rest but it did not subside even after taking rest for a week. So I visited Sports Injury Center in Sadurjung Hospital . Doctor advised me take complete rest for 4 weeks. Icing heel area 3-4 times a day was suggested. If icing is not feasible the cold packs available at chemist shops may be used.

Additional Steps: 

  1. Heel drop schedule was followed two times a day. For more information regarding heel drop kindly search on youtube. One video that I particularly found quite useful was :                                                     Word of Caution: The injured leg should not be used for coming up while doing heel drop.
  2. There is another good website that you may refer to:
  3. Use of foam roller on calf muscles also helps in ameliorating the pain. This video might be helpful in explaining the phenomenon involved:

Warning: Do not start running as soon as you start feeling better. Initially try running on a softer surface like grass. Make sure that you take very small steps while starting running. Slowly increase the stride length and transition from soft to hard surface.

Make sure that your shoes are in good condition. Worn out shoes also is a possible reason for this injury.

Exercise for Achilles Tendon after run: Face the wall/tree/rigid surface. Now move one leg forward and try to push the wall. Do not lift the heel of leg that is away from wall. You will feel the stretch along your calf. Now change the leg and repeat the procedure.

Have injury free running.