Tight achilles

When I wake up in a morning and get out of bed, my achilles feels quite tight and gives me a bit of a limp although isn't painful, but after walking around for a bit - getting ready, walk from car to the office, etc, it seems to warm up and feels ok and doesn't really give me any discomfort.

Now when I go for a run (generally in the afternoon after work) as soon as I start I can feel the tightness, but again after about half a mile it seems to go away and I can do 5 miles comfortably 4 times a week.

I don't know whether I should be worried about it or not as I have had it for a couple of weeks now and it hasn't got any worse, although it doesn't feel like it's got any better either.

Any adive on this?



  • You need to stretch your calves and achilles area obviously. I would suggest heel drops off a stair but there are many other stretches. Stretch both you gastroc and soleus. Maybe a massage would loosen you up. Self massage of your calves and achilles before you run might also be helpful. Do something or it's going to get worse.
  • When I was running 70-80 miles a week many many moons ago, I too suffered with this condition, as in, when I got up in the morning, the stiffness in my achilles walking from my bedroom to my bathroom was painful, yet when it warmed up it eased somewhat.  But, I put it down to the fact that I was a dancer all my life and I ran (and still do) on my forefoot, whereras when I walk, i would walk from heel to toe and therefore my achilles was not in favour of this idea! image

     I can only speak from my experience but, I personally didn't have any trouble with it when I ran and I (again, speaking from my own experience) didn't go to any specialist or see anyone and it did eventually go away of its own accord (it might have been a year though! - i can't quite remember as it was 15 years ago). I may have been lucky but, suffering for a year maybe not!!! but, for me it was painful but,  I knew it was going to go away after my achilles warmed up! 

     p.s.  like u I prayed it didnt get any worse - it didn't but, for me, it was around for a long time! 

  • hiya. When you sleep your muscles tighten, so by the time you wake you will be stiff. What sort of job do you have? If it is a desk job with not a lot of movement it will have the same affect. I'd  suggest you stretch 10 minutes into your run when the muscles are warm, they will be more pilable etc....good luck
  • Ok, I have been a bit naughty and not really done the stretches suggested, etc but have continued to run, and still after warming up it is fine, but it does seem to been a little bit worse the day following a run and there is a definite swelling of the offending achilles.

    I am going to try the stretches a couple of times a day and I am considering seeing a specialist. I have also found a thread suggesting radial shockwave therapy which may be an option.

    I would rather this was treated and went a away quickly rather than months of stretching and taking it easy image(

    In the mean time should I really stop running?? I really don't want to as I am enjoying it immensely and I am 'in the groove' and I'm worried that a few weeks off may lose me my impetus.

  • Achilles injuries should really be taken seriously - if not they can stop you running altogether! If there is swelling you have to stop running and do regular RICE. I would also see a sports physio ASAP. Even if you are training for a race which is very soon you are much better off resting and sorting this out now rather than have it turn into a chronic problem.
  • Jyo wrote (see)
    Achilles injuries should really be taken seriously - if not they can stop you running altogether! If there is swelling you have to stop running and do regular RICE. I would also see a sports physio ASAP. Even if you are training for a race which is very soon you are much better off resting and sorting this out now rather than have it turn into a chronic problem.

    I couldn't agree more

    I left mine and ended up with tears, minor ones but still tears, get yourself along to a sports physio or sports therapist who can have a proper look and determine the underlying cause and suggest proper stretches and exercises to help, if you leave it and continue to run it will probably get worse!!

  • Hi

    I do not like people who scaremonger - find a physio/sports therapist over an injury - if ur achilles is swollen then, perhaps that is a  bit more serious - but, if like me it was just sore when u get out of bed through stiffness then, as I have previously said it does go away, albeit slowly!

     Also, if people have not had this inury and just offer the advice - go see someone or it could turn into something bigger?? don't bother commenting!!

     And, if u have had this problem and say u have seen someone?? well, we would like to hear the outcome? LauraB3 says, she ended up with slight tears - was this a self prognosis or some 'sports therapist/physio' - but, she doesn't say what the end result was? not very inspiring.........

  • Twiggy, i'm sorry but i don't think this is the most sensible advice i've ever heard, yeah just leave it and it will go away because it did for me!! Your achilles does not need to be swollen for it to be serious, mine isn't swollen as has never been but the pain did not go away on its own, it continued to get worse and worse to the point where it hurt to walk, the best thing i ever did was go to see a sports therapist who specialised in running injuries. Your achilles tendon can become very weak and yes if you leave it you can end up with tears or worse a rupture. Thats not scaremongering it's being truthful.

    Actually since seeing the sports therapist the injury is slowly getting better, with a proper rehab program and making sure i rest the injury there are improvements, Achilles ijurys do take a a long time to heal and i would advise anyone if they are worried about something no matter how small or insignificant they feel it is to get it checked out, the worse that can happen is that the physio/doctor say its fine don't worry, i don't see this as scaremongering, rather be sensible and proactive about getting problems sorted before they get worse.The Original poster said they'd like to get this cleared up so i don't see how advising them to see a phsio is bad advice??
  • What is RICE?
  • I had the same symptoms

    Pain in the morning,  pain initially when running and then it eased and by the next morning pain again

    Pain is there for a reason

    I ended up with a 3cm tear in my achilles and about a year to get back to full running because I 'thought it would go away on its own'
    It rarely does and I would rather take the advice of a porfessional

    In the meantime, taking it easy, stretching, heel drops and massage will certainly help.

  • Michael May 6 wrote (see)
    What is RICE?

    Rest, ice, compression and elevate image

    Good luck and let us know how you get on, i'd also suggest (if you haven't already) getting you gait analysed to make sure you are wearing the correct type of running shoe, i overpronate which was putting added stress on the Achilles and since having a decent pair of shoes with some support it is improving!

  • I had achilles problems for several months last year and had to stop running.

    The problem was my running shoes. I'd been adivsed by a specialist shop to use motion controlled shoes for overpronation, but I think, as I started to get quicker & run more on the front of my feet, my gait changed. I'm now running in neutral shoes and my achilles problems have gone (touch wood !). So I would definitely get your gait checked, in case it's a trainer issue.

  • I was only saying from my own experience - Laura B - calm down! now that is sound advice!

    My achilles was sore for me in the morning - never had a tear on it - just in the morning soreness then when I walked - the pain would ease that's all!

    Don't forget many sports therapist/physios when you see them aren't going to say don't worry it's all fine - they want your money! and they want you to come back!

  • I had quite bad achilles tendonitis / tendonosis when I had it. I had it for certainly months and probably years. It was a bit swollen by my own judgement and was very stiff every morning when I got out of bed. I fixed it without stopping running just by having the right shoes and doing stretches, massages, etc, found on this site and others. So, it can get better without expensive therapist intervention. If you ask for advice though MM6, get the advice and don't take it - well, why are you wasting our time?
  • Right I went to see the quacks yesterday and was prescribed the following....

    • Diclofenac (big dose anti inflammatory, which I am currently taking anyway for a shoulder tendon issue/surgery from a couple of months ago)
    • Deep Heat on the tendon area before a run
    • Decent stretching before a run (I never really did this as I thought walking about during the day would have done this)
    • Try and run on a mixture of surfaces and not all road/pavement (difficult as I don't like running round a field 8 times....)
    • Making sure I have good footwear (when I got my trainers I was measured for running style but I did say I was mainly doing treadmill running as it was winter time, so maybe I need to get some road trainers)
    • Put ice on the affected area after a run
    • Massage the tendon (anyone with a foot fetish want to help...?)

    She did say that it should be OK to run on as it's not giving me a huge amount of discomfort or pain, and if not better to see her again in 2 weeks.  If by then it isn't better she suggested some kind of patch (can'remeber the acronym she gave it) btu a side effect is headaches......

     Anyway, all seems well (ish) on the good ship 'achilles tendon' but I will let you know how I get on in the next few weeks.

  • Hi Michael

    Nice one, glad it's not too serious, i'd be interested to find out about the patch?? Never heard of that one.

    With regards to the massage, the first physio i saw suggested using a toothbruch to massage the area apparently it helps increase the blood flow which is supposed to be very poor in the achilles area.

    It sound like you've been given pretty good advice, i'd also suggest a good stretch after you run too, my ST gave me a great one, 

    achilles article

    It's described here very well, scroll down to treatment, stretching, wall stretch!!

    All the best image

  • so michael how did it go, what happened two weeks later?

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