Posted by: Nish | 2003/12/15

Painfull heels

For the last six weeks I have been doing aerobics atleast 3-4 times a week. My problem is that my Archilles Tendon(not sure about spelling) is rather painfull in the morning or sumtimes when I sit down too long. Please explain what causes this & how I can "cure" the pain.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Nish

The pain is probably caused by stiffness of the tendon, and that's why it hurts in the mornings and after a period of being immobilised when you are sitting for long. So, it's when the tendon is being held in a certain position for a long time - the exact cause I would be guessing at, but it's a good sign that it is not hurting you during the exercise sessions, or at least that is what I gather from your email. What I would suggest is that you stretch that tendon very well, particularly before the session. The stiffness might be caused by very tiny, 'microscopic' tears in the muscle or in the tendon itself, and possibly some scar tissue around the tendon from a previous injury. This might be the cause of the pain, and so regular stretching, and a little self-massage may be all it takes. Then the best thing to do for this is a one legged heel raise - find a step, at least 10 cm in height and just stand on this step with your heel hanging over the edge, and then raise your body up and down using the calf muscle - this will cause a 'burn' in the calf muscle - don't overdo this, just do 10 reps on each leg, three times a day. This is a great way to strengthen the tendon.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: DBT | 2003/12/15

It could be tightness of the calf or slight rupture of the tendon. Or it could just be fatigue.

Try stretching your calf before and after. It could be many things from muscle inbalances in the leg. To lack of fluids salts, Shoes, lack of circulation whilst you are sitting still.

Try moving and stretching at your desk. Stretch after aerobics when you get home.

You also need to asses the movements you are performing that causes the pain and perform movements that will work the opposeing muscles to keep the leg semetrical.

If it carries on see a specialist in human movement that can access your movement patterns.

Reply to DBT

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