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Achilles pain

Feb 07th, 2018

Hi – I started a running program a few weeks ago but find that after about 20
minutes, I will start experiencing pain in my achilles heel which, if I don’t
stop, will start to spread up the side of my ankle. This is only on my right
foot. This started several months ago when I was skipping, which is an
exercise I have been doing regular for about 3 years.

I had bunion surgery on my left foot about 4 years ago which resulted in
limited motion in my big toe and osteoarthritis. While it no longer hurts, I
am wondering if I am overcompensating somehow.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Feb 07th, 2018

The Guru Responded:

Hi Danielle

That’s sounds pretty sensible.

The issue with most Achilles issues is that they (the tendon) have
been forced to over stretch or over work because something else isn’t
doing enough.

Your big toe can often be a cause.

The limitation of movement, especially when pushing off is compensated
by over stretching your Achilles – and becoming painful.

You need to do a few things.

Firstly stop the excessive loading by making sure that if you carry on
running you need to decrease your stride length.

Next, you need to improve the strength of the tendon itself by
embarking on an eccentric loading program of at least 8 weeks (no
short cuts)

And finally – and prefabs most obviously you need to improve the range
of motion in your big toe (and probably through most of your foot, but
not ankle). Give it a wiggle and a stretch a good few times in the day
for a reasonable amount of time for a good month or so.

Any decent Physio should be able to keep you on the straight and
narrow and haul you back on track when after a month you haven’t seen
any miraculous results!

Good luck.

The Guru

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