If your Achilles tendon has pain after running or workout, physiotherapists recommend you stretch your calf muscles and the Achilles. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body – but it’s also susceptible to serious injuries during a sport that will keep you on the feet and employs some pushing-off motion.
I’ll discuss how to reduce Achilles tendon soreness, for better running, before it escalates to a tendon tear – which otherwise has slow and painful recovery.
Avoid Achilles Tendon Rupture
Running might inflame your Achilles due to calf muscles’ tightness and excessive rubbing of the structure surrounding it. Further, the Achilles tends to weaken over time after every run – which could lead to tendon tear or rupture.
Therefore, stretching your calf muscles regularly (before and after runs) will help ease the pressure landing on your Achilles. For athletes, particularly runners, I recommend the Soleus stretch and Gastroc stretch for a minimum of 4 minutes every day.
Another great hack for beating pain from Achilles tendonitis is to cut the running stride to the most appropriate. Also, use the outer heel when striking the ground – this is particularly true for forefoot/ and midfoot striker
Upper Calf Muscle (Gastroc) Stretching
In this exercise, you’ll need to stand and faces the wall that is appropriately an arms-length away. Next, slide the feet on your affected leg backward.
Ensure to keep your heel on the floor (turn it outward a bit) and knee must remain straight – until you have stretched your upper calf. So, maintain this position for about 15 seconds.
Lower Calf Muscle (Soleus) Stretching
For this stretch, place your foot and body just like in the Gastroc stretching above but now bend both knees until you feel the lower calf stretching. Equally, remain in this position for 10 seconds.
Achilles Tendon Stretch
For the Achilles tendon: Stand on a stair (or raised surface) with the balls of your feet, and place your heels off from the edge of the surface.
Raise your toes, maintain that position for 10 seconds, and then lower your heels to the farthest point possible.
Fit Your Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
Shoe inserts (orthotics) such as heel pads can help cut the elevation and resultant pressure on the calf and Achilles tendon. Shoe inserts are particularly helpful for with Achilles issues triggered by over-pronation and angular tendon pulling.
Further, you’ll need to get fitted for Achilles Tendonitis shoes. Check out more info on
Gradual Running – 10% rule
If by any chance you’ll be increasing your intensity and distance or running – you must follow the 10% rule. The rule states that at any one time, you can only increase your running distance or intensity by 10% of your current values. This will ensure that you do not load your Achilles tendon suddenly, which would cause stress.
However, you must not keep off running (equivalent to Achilles tendon loading) for a long time as this could be detrimental. In addition, before beginning your runs make sure you warm the tendon using some warm water. On the flip side, when you close your running, ensure you cool the tendon using some ice.
Further, if you’re strength training, take it slow for a start. Listen to your Achilles tendon to let you know if you’re straining it – you could feel soreness or morning stiffness. Slow loading will enable your tendon gradually develop tolerance and thus avoiding
Continue with these stretches daily for 2 weeks until the pain subsides. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor or physiotherapists to analyze the foot motion and gait since it could be the issue.
Remember to tell the medical practitioner about any specific run or stretch that increases the pain. I hope you’ll add these stretching routine to your running schedule now. Also, let me know if they help relieve the Achilles soreness.