How To Deal With Achilles Tendonitis Caused By Running

Achilles tendonitis is a common foot injury that happens when you suddenly increase physical activity. It can happen when you start running for longer distances without gradually working up to your new routine. The Achilles tendon runs along your lower leg and the heel of your foot. When it's injured, you usually feel pain in your heel. Here are some suggestions for ways to deal with heel pain caused by this injury.

Rest Your Foot

Since tendonitis is caused by overuse, you want to stop the activity that triggered the pain. If you're training for a marathon, you may need to switch to swimming or some other form of exercise that doesn't impact your heels. In addition to limiting running, you may want to stay off your feet as much as possible during the day. Try elevating the affected foot to help reduce swelling and pain. Resting with your heel elevated and placed on an ice pack for the first few days after the injury may help speed healing.

Buy New Running Shoes

If you do a lot of running, you should buy new shoes frequently. Running in worn out shoes leads to a variety of problems with your feet and legs. The shoes you wear should provide support for your feet. If they don't, buy some arch supports and slip them in your shoes. You may also want to buy a heel lift so some of the pressure is relieved from your foot as you push off when running and walking. If you buy shoe inserts without the guidance of a podiatrist, be sure it says on the label it is for Achilles tendinitis. If you wear the wrong kind of insert, you might make your foot pain worse.

Seek Medical Treatment

If your heel pain is so bad it interferes with your normal activities or affects your ability to train, then you should see a podiatrist, like those at Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists, for help. He or she may offer prescription anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce swelling and pain. Surgical procedures are usually not needed unless you have a bad tear in the tendon. Instead, the podiatrist will fit you with the right orthotic insert that supports your arch and pads your heel. You may also be taught exercises that stretch and strengthen your foot and calf muscles to keep them flexible and strong.

One thing you don't want to do is be tough and ignore the pain. If you push yourself when you have tendonitis, you can cause further injury. The tendon could tear or rupture and that would keep you from running for a long time while you heal. Although it might take a few weeks, with rest and proper treatment, your tendonitis pain will gradually get better. To keep it from coming back, build up your running distance gradually and be sure to always wear supportive shoes when you run.