Running is an excellent way to get fit! However, sometimes when we start a new program we can feel little niggles beginning to arise. Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury among runners, especially those who are increasing their training load.
What is the achilles?
The achilles tendon is the biggest and strongest tendon in the body located in the back of the lower leg. The tendon has the capacity to resist large forces. It stems from the calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and soleus) and inserts into the heel of our foot (the calcaneus).
What is Achilles Tendinopathy?
A tendinopathy is a disorder which can happen when there is disrepair and disorganisation within the tendon structure. This can happen when there is excessive load placed on the structure, for example if someone starts running and increases their mileage too quickly.
The effects of overuse, poor circulation, lack of flexibility, gender, and hormonal factors can lead to tendinopathies. The structure of the tendon is disturbed by repetitive strain, causing inflammation. This cumulative microtrauma weakens the tendon, which ultimately leads to tendinopathy, especially if recovery is not allowed.
Having previously talked about the importance of the gluteal (bum) muscles. Now I’m going to look at this from the aspect of cycling, during the initial phase of cycling (12-4 o’clock) the glutes were an important muscle group for generating power, and by improving one’s ability to deliberately activate these muscles and improve their strength/power, one could reduce quadriceps (thigh) fatigue and improve cycling power output and performance. Frustratingly having looked extensively over the past week for some body of QUALITY research that would back up these ideas, I have found it a fruitless task.
I recently attended the Safe Rugby level 2 first aid course at the Aviva stadium. This updated my knowledge on the management of concussion, spinal injuries and general sports first aid. These skills will help me deliver a high standard of care at Peak physiotherapy. Something that kept coming up on this course was the poor understanding and management of concussion across the country. Therefore I thought it would be helpful to provide some information on the management and symptoms of concussion.
Mindfulness seems to be a buzzword nowadays. Truth be told it is a concept that has been around for centuries. In our current world, we are more distracted than ever with social media and the internet taking over the majority of our lives. We lose focus on basic things like our breathing, our thoughts and feelings.
Mindfulness is based our the principle of being present when doing a specific task. This could relate to being aware of eating when you are ACTUALLY eating. Thinking about the taste, texture, smell in a relaxed and patient manner. The opposite is obviously shovelling enough food down our throats and hope that you wont be hungry by the time you get your next break or are interrupted by family or work colleagues.
Tendinopathies are a common source of pain in athletes. However for coaches and patients it can be difficult to understand and acknowledge in training and competitions. They develop over the course of preseason where the intensity of the training is increased. Stereo-typically athletes experience an aching tendon or region at the start of a session, ease off once the tissue is warmed up and then a dull ache the next day for 24hours, slightly more than normally. If the ache in question is worse for greater than 48hours, the sporting activity is likely too much for the tissue at that time and a rehab plan should be started.
Eoin Naughton, Peak Physio’s clinical director was selected to work as a Physiotherapist at the recent 2016 Summer Olympics, held in Rio. Here is his story of working at the biggest sporting event in the World.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in people running. With resources like couch to 5Km applications and programs, making running more appealing and accessible than ever. However, this increase has come with a cost. Before starting on one of these programs, I would highly recommend a physio consultation with a structured rehab plan specific to you and your body. These programs are generic, meant for the general population.