Can heel raises make insertional Achilles tendinitis worse? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
I got a question on one of the Doc On The Run YouTube channel videos about insertional Achilles tendinitis, and this came from Kevin, he asked his question, and what he said was that “For a few weeks, I had insertional Achilles tendinitis. I have read that doing heel raises over a step could make the situation even worse. Some suggest doing it on barefoot in a flat zone. What do you think?”
What Kevin’s talking about here was when he’s talking about doing heel raises on a step. We’re talking about eccentric drops, that’s where you put your foot on the step and then you lower your heel down and then raise back up. And that is intended to treat Achilles tendinosis or where you have some degeneration of the colon and you’re trying to actually break up crosslinking within those fibers and restore more normal tissue within the Achilles tendon that’s been injured.
If you have insertional Achilles tendinitis, in its purest form, what that means is insertional just means where it inserts or attaches. So, you’re talking about the connection between the fibers of the Achilles tendon to the bone on the back where the Achilles pulls up on the back of the bone. So, it just stands to reason that if you actually have irritation or damage or stress or strain or injury to the fibers where they attach to the back of the heel, if you just lower your heel under your full body weight, and you stretch it as much as possible under bodyweight, yes, that can irritate it for sure.
If you do stretches on flat ground, it’s less stress, but it could be enough stress that it actually is too much for you. So, in his circumstance, I don’t actually know if he can even get away with that because I don’t know anything about his case, but the thing is, you’ve got to monitor this very closely.
So, always follow your doctor’s advice, but if you’re trying to treat it on your own, you’re trying to figure it out on your own, well, you have to pay really close attention to how it feels and how it responds afterward.
I talk about all this stuff in depth in the Achilles masterclass for runners, you can get it free at www.docontherun.com. I think it’s www.docontherun.com/achillesmasterclass, You can see that on the website www.docontherun.com as well, if you click on the Achilles tab.
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