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Aching Achilles?

We see a lot of runners in our clinic and we treat plenty of hip, glute and lower back issues. One ailment that massage and myotherapy may not be the obvious choice for is achilles tendon pain and inflammation. Our team has a lot of experience helping clients to manage and prevent achilles issues and with Myotherapy, Remedial Massage and Infrared Sauna to offer, we can create a plan to help you put the bounce back in your step.

Achilles issues should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the injury becoming chronic and leaving you with a long road to recovery..

Symptoms you might notice would be stiffness, tenderness/pain, heat at site and swelling. Common causes of achilles issues can include overuse, unsuitable footwear, sudden increase in training load (hiking, running), tight calf muscles.

The achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to the back of the heel and plays an important role in plantar flexion or when you perform a calf raise. It also acts as a shock absorber.

Myotherapy is a great place to start with treating this issue. Your Myotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment to identify the cause of your issue and hone in on the trouble spots. They may utilise dry needling which can be extremely effective in treating lower leg tension, thus helping to take some load off the achilles. Massage, ankle and foot mobilisation, cupping and stretching may also be included to ensure that the achilles and surrounding structures are on the right track. 

Your massage therapist can tailor a treatment to aid recovery, ease tension and prevent injury. They will likely also work on the whole leg and into the hips and back, making sure that your body is moving as optimally as possible and that other areas aren't being drawn into dysfunction by your achilles. 

Sauna- Supercharge your healing and recovery by adding Infrared Sauna into your routine. Sauna helps with pain levels by decreasing inflammatory markers and boosting oxygen and blood circulation. Your sauna host will be happy to discuss getting the most out of your sauna session and how to position yourself for the best result.

Please consult with your therapist to discuss the most suitable exercises to help you through your injury.

Strength- Calf raises are a great one to work with. You might start with supported, double leg calf raises, then progress to an unsupported position. If you are comfortable, you can try single leg calf raises or perform them on a step if you have the range. 

Stretching- Did you know, your “calf”muscle is actually made up of 2 main muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus) that insert onto the achilles tendon.

To effectively stretch both of these muscles, you need to perform your “wall” calf stretch both with a bent knee (for Soleus) and straight knee (for Gastrocnemius).

For a softer approach you can try a seated calf stretch, looping a towel/yoga strap over the foot and pulling back gently.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop! If the action and impact of running is aggravating your body, take the time to rest and recover. Make use of your massage ball, foam roller and massage gun and be sure to take your body through some stretching/mobility work- being careful not to irritate the achilles. 


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