- In early stages, Achilles tendinitis symptoms are present early during a run and again at the end of the run.
- Hills and speedwork can aggravate the condition.
- In later stages, the Achilles tendon will be painful with any running effort and also with walking.
- The tendon may be painful to squeeze.
- The tendon may creak when you move it, or you might notice a tender nodule or thickening.
- As was the case with plantar fasciitis, the tendon is often sore or stiff with first steps after sleep or after sitting more than 20 minutes. Self-care should include ice massage for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day until pain free; over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and/or the supplement chondroitin sulfate; heel-lifts added to all of your shoes; gentle calf-stretching exercise; and avoiding shoes with low (less than 3/8″) heel-to-ball height differential.
- When pain-free, begin strengthening with eccentric resistance exercises, such as standing on a chair on your tip-toes and (slowly) lowering your heel until you reach the endpoint, with your heel lower than the ball of your foot. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times. Progress to doing one foot at a time, then by adding weight (i.e., hold dumbbells) and reps as you become stronger.
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