Achilles rehabilitation programme

With gyms being closed for months over lockdown many people took to walking or running as their new form of exercise, which is great when done correctly, but unfortunately I am recently seeing an increase in patients at the clinic with achilles pain, so thought I would write this blog on prevention and recovery.


Why do we get achilles pain?

Tendons have a lower blood supply than muscles meaning they don't get the same amount of nutrients and therefore take longer than muscles to repair/grow. Tendons normally cause us discomfort when then are loaded too much too quickly and/or not given enough time to fully recover between sessions.


So what's a safe amount to load a tendon?

Well everyone starting point is going to be different, patient A might be able to complete 10k comfortably during their first run where as patient B might only be able to complete a 2k walk.


The key is progression and recovery.


What ever your starting point do not increase your workouts by more than 10% per week. This doesn’t mean 10%, this means that 10% is the maximum amount you should increase your intensity, to reduce the risk of injury, if you want to do 3%, 5% or anything in-between that’s fine.

Then every 4th week have a de-loading week which is 50% less of your previous week to allow your body to recover.


Example 1

Running 2 x per week Week 1 - 2km Week 2 - 2.2km Week 3 - 2.4km Week 4 - De-load week 1.2 km (50% of 2.4km = 1.2km)


Now running 2-3 x per week Week 5 - 2.6km Week 6 - 2.9km…. and so on...


What to do is you're already in pain?

First of all I would recommend getting advice from a health progressional for an accurate diagnosis before continuing, but below I have provided a basic step by step video to help with pre/rehabilitation. I suggest aiming to work up to 15 slow repetitions PAIN FREE before moving on to the next phase, and allowing 2-3 days between for recovery depending on severity.


TIP - you can also use this protocol if your not in pain but are looking to strengthen the achilles before getting in to walking/running reducing the chances of injury!


If you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment please don't hesitate to contact me


Thanks


Rob

ADT Chiropractic

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