Tilman von der Linde Blogs on Achilles Injuries
When the Achilles tendon starts to wear, the cells in the tendon start to die causing the tissue to shrivel and dry out. Tendons take much longer to heal and if done right can prevent a rupture.
Dr. Karim Kahn at UBC explains that tendons undergo a cell based repair that is achieved through exercise. When the cells are stretched they send signals that trigger a protein synthesis within the cell that stimulates the creation of new collagen fibers which then repair the damaged tissue.
Turning Movement into Repair
If you are suffering from a hot Achilles tendon and are thinking about going out for a run, do a simple pinch test. Gently pinch the tendon between your thumb and fingers. If it is sore, consider straddling the stationary bike and stretch for the day instead of heading out for your Sun Run training session.
The Achilles Tendon Repair Exercise:
Heel Drops: 3 sets of 15, 2 times a day for 12 weeks. Try the 4X4 Calf stretch in the Sun Run Video series or while holding onto the rails, walk backwards down a set of stairs a few times a day.
There will be some pain. Monitor any pain, allow the pain to go to 5 on a 1-10 scale. If the pain decreases at the end of the exercise or subsides the next day and does not increase from day to day or week to week, continue as the tendon is healing.
Mafi, Anderson (2001) found a 82% success rate in those that did Heel Drops in comparison to a 36% success rate of those that did Heel Raises as a treatment for Achilles tendon injuries.
Tilman von der Linde, RMT.
Muscles in Motion - Vancouver