Achilles problems

Hi All, I will try and keep this brief.
I have had various injury problems since February, but my latest one started in April when my left Achilles started playing up.
At first I would be limping for a week or two, but now am only hurting for 12-24 hours, although the longer the run, the more the pain builds up.
Anybody have any idea in what could be the problem? As I assume if it was a tear, I would be out for weeks.
I do have new varicose veins growing in the Achilles area, could they be rubbing it and making it sore? Any answers much appreciated, as getting fed up and fatter everyday!




  • Could be tendonitis which is inflammation of the tendon but it can be caused by it being tight and rubbing, foot overpronation or a small tear. The constant use continues the inflammation so it never gets a chance to calm down, hence the 12-24 hours of pain. Gentle calf stretches for both calf muscles so with the knee bent and the knee straight focus on keeping your heel on the ground. Also gentle eccentrics for the tendon will help lengthen it to allow more mobility to hopefully decrease the irritation. Standing on a step on the balls of your feet just let the left heel drop comfortably for a stretch and use the right leg to lift you back up to neutral. Ice and hold off on barefoot walking. Shoes also make a difference if you have high drop shoes that keeps the Achilles shortened which might be more comfortable vs. low drop shoes. Try to go a week without running to see how it feels, bike or swim if it doesn't hurt. Keep pain-free. Then gradually add some heel raises (lifting up onto your toes) in standing and see how it is. Now we need to strengthen the calf, just because it is irritated doesn't mean it is strong. Then try single leg balance activities. Gradually return to running but don't push through the pain. Tendonitis can be hard to get rid of if you don't listen to your body, pain is it telling you something isn't right. Kinseio tape may help but it isn't a quick fix. Hope this helps!
  • Hope I can help! I'm a Physiotherapist who's really passionate about trying to uncover and solve the root cause of common aches and pains. I agree with the above comment that it does sound like some Achilles dysfunction. From what I find clinically, a great way to think of Achilles issues is that the Achilles is just the part of the entire leg that isn't tolerating less than perfect mechanics. If you can locate and find the broader issues that change the way you load the Achilles when you run, you can go after the root cause of that pain. Things like stiff ankle joints, tight hip flexors, tight hip rotators, weak hip rotators and even low back dysfunction can change the way the leg moves, and ultimately annoy the Achilles tendon over time. In essence, running isn't often the cause, more so just the environment that exposes those broader mechanical issues. If it helps I've also put together a shortish video with some exercises to address these broader issues. Hope it helps!

    I've also put together a long-form article that goes into some depth!
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