Achilles Problems – Causes, Symptoms and Recovery

Jennifer Symeachilles, running

Your Achilles Heel I’ve written before about running specific issues, but this time I want to look at one common condition in particular.Achilles problems are one of the most common running related issues I see in the clinic. Of course it isn’t just runners, but due to the impact from running, they are the ones that most often have issues in this area. Generally speaking, most people don’t pay too much attention to their Achilles. It’s just that weird, soft yet bony like structure at the back of their ankle. They know about it from school and Greek Myths, but that’s about it. Until it goes wrong that is. The Achilles, and by extension the calf muscles, have a hugely important role in our movement, especially in running where they can absorb up to 3 times your body weight on landing, and even more than that on the push-off phase of the stride. So, they are doing a big job on every step. Unfortunately, the Achilles is also prone to overuse and injury, especially if there is already an underlying weakness in the area. Tendon injuries are tricky things to deal with as they have a lower blood supply than muscles, so take a longer time to recover and heal. Therefore it is really important to tackle possible problems as early as possible, and try to avoid them recurring. How Do You Know You Have Achilles Issues? The symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy are – Initially, a stiff feeling in the … Read More

How to Avoid Common Running Injuries

Jennifer SymeBlog, running

Don’t let injury Ruin Your Running Season Do you dream of being that runner where every step of every mile is 100% pain free? No running injuries, no aches, no twinges or niggles, no lingering soreness from yesterday’s session? Well, you are not alone; research shows that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year. Wait. What! That’s nearly 8 out of every 10 runners. Think about how many runners you know. As ever, there is a spectrum of running injuries and associated pain. At one end you have severe, full-blown injuries, we’ll name that the red zone, which includes stress fractures that require time off. The other end, where you’re in top form, we’ll call the green zone. Mild, transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next sit closer to the green end. However, the most common place for runners is the yellow zone. That point where you are not 100% pain free, but nor are you fully injured. Your ability to stay in the green zone depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain. A little bit of prevention – a little rest, or reduction in training mileage/intensity, along with some soft tissue treatment, can prevent a longer period of enforced time off later. Developing a proactive long-term injury-prevention strategy, such as strength training, stretching, regular massage and foam-rolling can help keep you in the ‘green.’ It may seem boring to do daily stretches, or … Read More

The Benefits of Stretching – For Runners and Cyclists

Jennifer SymeBlog, fitness, runningLeave a Comment

Why Should I Bother Stretching? It’s Spring, according to the calendar anyway, and at this time of year, my clinic starts to get busy with people who are training for events. Usually a running event, anything from 10k to a marathon, and also some long distance cycling such as 100 miles a day (sometimes repeating for several days). With all these folk, the issue of the benefits of stretching will come up, as well as the need for good self care as part of your training regime. Professional athletes have a team of people supporting them – trainers, physios, massage therapists, psychologists. So, for the amateur, it is also worth seeking some support for yourself, even just for the period up to the event, especially if this is your first attempt at this type of event. If you are a runner that has done some races before, you may get a shock when you start the training regime for a full marathon. It really does take over your life, and with that level of commitment, the last thing you want is for some minor injury or tight muscles to become so much of an issue that you can’t take part in the event, or end up with a longer term in injury. How Should I Stretch? When I see people in this training period, I always ask about stretching. These days most people will do some, but I still get the occasional person who sheepishly admits that they ‘know they … Read More