Ask The Experts: Achilles Tendonitis

Question: Having switched to my new Brooks Shoes (Ghost 12) I developed pain in my Achilles tendon. I’m currently doing PT but are there any other suggested exercises? – Michael


Hi Michael!
Great question.
As with any injury, the first thing to do is manage your overall load. This means either decreasing your total volume of running or decreasing the impact loading during the run itself. This is only for a short time to let the acute injury recover.
This is important since tendons do not recover as quickly as other tissues of the body. Tendons need at least 48 hours to recover.
Decreasing your total running volume could mean taking in one less run during the week or shortening your running time. To decrease the impact of the run itself, if you haven’t already increase your step cadence to at least 170 steps per minute.
Now for exercise, you’ll want to do heel raises to strengthen your calf muscles. And to be super nerdy, the calf muscle consist of the gastrocnemius and soleus.
So you’ll want to do heel raises standing, quick up and very slow down. This targets the gastrocnemius. Then you’ll do heel raises sitting, quick up and very slow down. This targets the soleus. Add resistance by holding onto dumbbells (standing) or placing on your knees (seated).
Try to do 3 sets of 10 at a difficulty of 5-6 out of 10 (0 being super easy and 10 being super super hard.)
Happy running out there!
Dr. Balmes PT