Taking Charge of Your Health

Hey. This is Sock Doc and today I’m going
to talk about a common running injury called Achilles tendinitis. This is
an injury that many people suffer from if they’re training hard, if they’re
racing a lot. It’s a pain in the lower part of your leg, right where
your Achilles tendon attaches to the heel of your bone. So your Achilles tendon
is actually an extension of your two calf muscles, your gastrocnemius
and your soleus muscle, and they go down and form a tendon. Tendons attach muscles
to bones and it’s called your Achilles tendon. We’ll just get right to it. Your Achilles
tendon is right here and many people will feel pain right where their Achilles
tendon attaches to the calcaneus, their heel bone. Now you can see
right there I have a very little bump that I had from when I had some
Achilles tendinitis back in 1992-1993, when I was training hard in
college. It’s the one time I actually got a cortisone shot right there
in my heel bone and it basically calcified up. So to this day I still have
a little bit of a bump. Now some people might call that a heel spur
and there’s actually a term called a pump bump, kind of a funny name,
when that spur kind of flares up a little bit. There’s also a term called retrocalcaneal
bursitis, which is when the bursa, which is underneath that Achilles
tendon flares up and you have bursitis, another type of inflammation,
-itis means inflammation, so bursitis – inflammation of the bursa; tendinitis – inflammation
of the tendon. Many people say that the pump bump, that swelling
on the outside, the lateral part of your Achilles is from scuffing
against the back of a shoe or a walking shoe. I don’t agree with that
at all. Typically you have the Achilles tendinitis or you have a calf issue
resulting in a strain of the Achilles tendon, and then that flaring up,
that inflammation of the Achilles causes you to approximate the distance
between your heel and the shoe more, in other words you have less space,
and that rubbing then creates the spur or the pump bump. Here’s the important thing though. As I’ve
talked about in the other videos it’s always more important to diagnose why
you have a problem rather than what exactly you have. Whether you want to
call this Achilles tendinitis, whether you want to call your pain a heel
spur, a bone spur, retrocalcaneal bursitis, or a pump bump, ultimately it really
doesn’t matter. Diagnosing what you have does very little, if anything,
to fix the problem. So we’re going to diagnose why you have it and that’s
the important thing, to hopefully prevent it from happening again
and recover from this injury faster than you would otherwise. One of the Sock Doc rules, as you know, is
we don’t stretch any injuries. Stretching pulls muscle fibers away from one
another and when you want to heal muscle fibers you want to approximate
those back together. Even physical therapist today are starting to use
methods such as scraping methods, very painful methods, when they go
down the belly of a muscle and try to line those fibers up. And that’s now
proven that lining those fibers up and approximating these fibers helps to
heal injuries. It’s actually, in my opinion, one of the most
effective ways you can heal an injury. And this is also known as trigger
point therapy or origin insertion technique. So it’s very painful and I’m going
to show you how to do that right now because the Achilles tendon is an
extension, again, of your calf muscle. So we’re going to look for an injury
here on the calf and you’re going to especially look right here, right
where the meaty part of your calf muscle starts to narrow down and come
to the more narrow part of your calf and then ultimately into your Achilles
tendon. You’re going to look for tender spots, like right in there and
push with your thumb. See what’s tender, poke around. You can squeeze
with your thumb and index finger too, down this soleus, the lower part
of your calf, down to your Achilles here, and look for any tender spots.
And if you find them either hold them or rub them out in a circular motion.
They’re going to be very tender, very hot, compared to the other side
that might not be injured and you can see what might really be painful.
A lot of runners have tender calves anyway and sometimes it’s because there’s
an injury that’s starting and you can possibly prevent it if you start
to work those out. So you’re going to work those out. Sometimes
they’ll wash away, we say, they sort of dissolve and feel better. And they
might not, but they hopefully feel better the next day or even right now.
If you work them out a little bit you might notice that as you walk or run
more they don’t hurt as bad. Typically, as you may know, with Achilles
tendinitis, if you have it, it hurts more when you walk or run up hill because
of the plantar flexion aspect of using your calves while you’re doing
that activity. Another little device I like to use sometimes
on people is The Stick. You might have seen these at running stores or
expos. It’s got these little movable beads in the middle and you hold it
like this and then go up the back side of your leg so you’re working it
up and down your calf like that, especially over, obviously, the tender area.
I’m putting pressure towards my leg and my leg pressure towards The Stick
and you’re rolling that up and down. This is a nice little instrument to
use for hamstring issues and calf issues where you can get right in there. So
look for those injuries in the calf. Second, remember, no stretching. And third,
as usual, with any injury, as I’ve always said, no orthotics. Let’s get
off those orthotics and those built up shoes. The more your foot can stay
closer to the ground, the more you can walk barefoot, the more you can use
minimalist shoes with a very low heel to forefoot drop, a wide toe box,
and very little support or cushion, the more you’ll strengthen your feet
and get over your injury quicker and prevent other injuries from hopefully
occurring. But there’s other reasons why injuries can
occur just other than bad footwear and one of those reasons, again,
as I’ve talked about before, is when you overtrain. Training at too high
of a heart rate anaerobically, training too often, racing too often, or too
high of stress levels which could even be from eating a poor diet, or
from too much emotional stress like if you’re working too many hours, family
stress, or any other mental stress you might have that’s basically too
much that you can handle. That tends to stress our bodies out and injuries
result from that because there are certain links between stress levels
in the body and cortisol levels, which are one of your stress hormones,
like adrenaline, and these tend to provoke injuries in people. It happens
basically from the way that they work with muscles, the relationship between
your hormones and muscles. And I talk more about this on the Sock Doc
website about eating better, about eating more appropriately, no hydrogenated
fats, low sugar in your diet, and staying away from things like MSG,
refined foods and monitoring stress levels, training aerobically rather
than anaerobically, using heart rate monitors and that sort of thing. So if you’re training properly, if you’re eating
well, if your stress levels are in check, and you have the proper equipment,
in this case, with a running injury, that usually just means footwear,
and if your feet are strong from wearing the proper footwear, and
not wearing orthotics and walking barefoot often, you’re going to probably
never end up with an injury like Achilles tendinitis, or a pump
bump, or a retrocalcaneal bursitis, or a heel spur, or a bone spur,
whatever you want to call it, and your feet are going to feel very strong and
you’re going to have strong calves and lower legs and great balance. The other thing is, other than no stretching,
no orthotics, is with the entire Sock Doc philosophy make sure you always
stay off that injury, especially in the acute phase. It might be
okay to ice it a little bit if you need to settle down the injury, if that
makes it feel better, to cut down on some of the inflammation. But ultimately,
to heal the injury, you need to look distant from the injury, as I’ve
talked about in the other videos like plantar fasciitis and iliotibial
band injuries. In this case, stay off your Achilles. Don’t be pushing around
right where that Achilles inserts into your calcaneus, your heel bone.
Go up towards the calf. You might even have to go all the way up towards
where your calf actually comes over to the other side, behind your knee bone,
the tendons of the calf muscles up here where it’s closer to your
hamstring. So focus on that area behind your leg, and
not too much on the Achilles tendon area because often pushing on the Achilles
and doing any strong techniques there, the trigger point therapy,
or using The Stick actually on your Achilles, will most likely just inflame
it. You should be able to settle down a lot of it, hopefully all of
it, by addressing the muscle further up. But don’t forget to address why
you have the problem. And again, it might not be from the shoes. It
could be from over training and those other aspects that quickly result in
an injury. And that’s how you’ll go about getting over this injury much faster
than anybody has every told you and hopefully preventing your Achilles
tendinitis from happening again. I hope you enjoyed it; thanks!

100 thoughts on “Achilles Tendonitis: Natural Treatment & Prevention – Sock Doc

  1. Hello, I had bad shins splints, and when they went away, the pain around my achillies started.I stopped running for about 2Wks and during that time I would usually put more pressure on my left leg, and I would limp while walking. Now I dont feel pain, but I feel my left leg stronger than my right leg, and I started running this week but people keep telling me that I limp really bad while running, I was wondering if you have any suggestions on what could help me stop limping while running?

  2. Hi doc. I have the pump bump you talk about in the video. It pains a lot. The 1st few step in the morning feels like something is tearing there. I am trying the calf muscle massage. How can I be sure that the calf muscle is the problem?how long will it take for the massage to show the positive effect?I massage about half hr a day. The orthopedic doctor I went to suggest me heel cushion and it started paining more after that. Please help me. I have this pain for about 2 months now

  3. Hi, im a 20 year old footballer & have been suffering from achilles tendonitis for approximately a year now. The pain is mainly above the calcaneous, where it joins the tendon. It has currently calmed down slightly. Osteopaths, chiropractors, physios all gave me the same feedback as to the problem: Weak calves, lack of stretches, too much flexibility of the foot (ankle), excessive exercise without enough proper training, incorrect footwear. What do you reccommed? i need to get back on the pitch!

  4. How can you be sure that you have a muscle injury (so you should not stretch) and not just a tight muscle that causes some extra strain on the achilles? I 've developed achilles pain from dancing folk dances that require dancing mainly on the ball of your foot. It's low, right above the calcaneus where the achilles starts.

  5. Wish I had seen your videos before I spent $1000 on orthodics for supination and now have developed achilles tendonitis and other foot pain/issues, my foot doc said to NEVER go barefoot, and 3 months later my pain is spreading and my foot issues are worse! I am a dance teacher and want a natural way to make my feet better, I am going to try all your recomendations. where do you practice? I need a new foot doctor!

  6. Thank You for the advice. I suffered for a few months now. I am going to the Dr. on Thursday. This is exactly my problem.

  7. would you advice to get get surgery to remove the bursa cuz it is really painful. I run 10k each saturday. Once done i use some trigger point lacrosse balls on my calves. seem to help a bit. this is really annoying 🙁

  8. Hmm.. My Achilles hurts. Directly the Achilles, not where it attaches to the heel, but the thinnest part that you can grab- when I move it, it makes weird rubbing sounds like it hasn't been well oiled. Lol. Am I gonna die?

  9. I have a heel spur inthe right heel under my achilies. Now my left achililes tendon hurts as well. Especially upon standing or walking after sitting for awhile

  10. Wow, you're a good teacher. I'm taking deep tissue massage classes and found your "lecture" very helpful, thank you!

  11. This was really informative. I was seeing a chiropractor/podiatrist regarding my plantar fasciitis. Due to my Muay Thai classes, I injured my achilles heel while kicking. My chiropractor hasn't really helped with the problem and basically told me to keep wearing my orthotics & gave me ENS & heat therapy. The orthotics were originally for my plantar fasciitis; should I stop wearing them to strengthen the foot? (I will be seeing a new physiotherapist in a few days referred to by my doctor)

  12. I've had achilled tendonitis for 4 years. At first I did lots of icing and stretching, and ultrasound but there was no significant improvement. So I will try this, no stretching. Sometime just touching my achilles makes it burn like a fire so not touching it directly seems like a good idea too. I've continued to be very active, performance isn't as good as it could be but it doesn't seem to be getting any worse. I've also been using orthotics for at least a year with no improvement.

  13. Thanks !!! I was pushing right on my Achilles and it wasn't helping. After watching this video, I started massaging my calves muscle more and so far it feels a lot better.

  14. I am trying all these methods BUT my ortho dr mentioned my very high arches and running without enough support…stretching the tendons too much. I have ordered custom orthotics. It makes sense to me. What do you think about them to support high arches?

  15. My bones on back of both heels are growing out and ankles feel like a hot poker has been shoved in it. I never wear dress shoes. I am a school teacher and I work at night second job on feet. From 5am to 10pm on feet wearing tennis shoes. As the day goes on IT GETS WORSE…just want to cry. I notice that the bottom of my shoes are worn out very badly on the outside edges so I guess I'm bot walking right…could this cause my bone problem. Is there a shoe that will reverse problem, really fix it?

  16. It's nice that you try to sound scientific here but orthotics are for people who want to support dysfunction and have altered mechanoreceptor activation due to muscular imbalances. There's my big words for ya. 🙂

  17. (part 1) My 10yo doesn't remember injuring her heel, but has complained about heel pain off/on for a month. I thought she should stay off it to allow it to heal, and when she does the pain goes away. But when we go somewhere & she has to walk the pain resumes. Today dr. said take Motrin 3x/day for a week so she can walk on it regularly w/o pain & inflammation will go away, allowing it to heal. You agree w/regular usage of foot? And the meds…

  18. (pt 2)I'm just not comfortable w/med treatment as that can be hard on body (liver/intestines)—she already has minor gut issues: food allergies. Will definitely do massaging, cracking down on diet, & dealing w/stress. Extra family in our home right now have contributed to more sugar & she is also having particular trouble dealing w/emotional stress from interpersonal struggles w/our guests. Thanks for that reminder. "A merry heart does good like a medicine." Will further explore your site. Thx!!

  19. I love your philosophy. I am an addicted 1/2 marathon runner, and I found you because my finish times are bad and it's because of my left leg Achilles pain after 8 miles. before 8 miles, I am able to hold a 7:30 pace, and at 63 this usually makes me a local age group winner. NOW I am a LOSER and my times are 2:15 – 2:30 for a half. I started wearing minimal shoes, and I have even WON 10 and 5k races wearing XERO shoes. I love minimal but for long runs I am going to use STABILITY and CUSHION to trouble shoot the issue. Please comment.

    PS I am an AV guy. You could improve your content by wearing a LAVALIERE. If you need any suggestions on this send me a message. Love you. You made my day. Charles Altman

  20. i started getting pains in my heel when i was around 9 and i am now 22 and the pain spread all the way over to my calf its so painful to the point where i limp all the way to class. i cant do workout or anything its been like this most of my life but i finally decided to do something about it because its affecting my everyday life. i cant afford a physical therapist collage and all but ill try to get my hands on a "Stick" see if it improves.

  21. SockDoc, I started having pain in my right achilles tendon.  I'm a 42 year old male.   I believe it came from walking and running on my treadmill at an incline.  I usually stretched before running but I stopped because I read somewhere it was not necessary to stretch before working out as long as your warm your body up.  I am on a limited workout schedule because of work so I want to get in and out quick.  My achilles hurt for 2 months.  I iced it and stretched it to.  I decided to go to the doctor 3 weeks ago and she said it was most likely a achelles sprain.  So she prescribe me a 500mg naproxen and told me to take it twice a day for 2 weeks and no running or working out my lower legs.  The pain went away, so after 2 weeks I started working out lightly and stretching.  Now I have a slight pain again.  I have been icing and using heat to help it.  Any advice?

  22. I have severe pain on and and around my calcaneus. I am a runner and I've been doing some hill training recently. However, I don't have any tender spots in my calves. Are there some other ways to relieve this pain? And, can I do a bicycle workout while I recover? Thank you!

  23. It's very interesting, as soon as I started working on the sore spots on my calf, the pain disappeared in my Achilles and is not centered in my calf.  Is that normal? 

  24. I have watched several videos about this subject due to my pain and none have really helped. This is the only doc that "I believe" is a true expert and spot on. He is very informative and seems to have not only have personal experience, but researches the way a doctor should rather than to just read us something out of a medical book. Thanks! I didn't know doctors like this existed anymore. If I only lived closer to be his patient….would be a dream come true….and not have pain.

  25. When I am at baseball practice and I run I will feel pain in my lower ankle. My heel always hurts when I strain my heel. After a while the pain goes away but I still feel a slight tightness though. My dad knows it hurts but just tells me to run it off and it will start to feel better.

  26. Just wanted to send you sir a very big thank you and I'm going to give it a try.Your advice sounds well balanced and true. Thank you and I'll let you know how it comes out. I pray that it works I'm 54 and love to dance for exercise. Have a great day! :D!

  27. i've been using a rolling pin for baking on my calf to help with the tendonitis. it is still quite sore even 4 days after using it. i have stopped running and jumping and even walking hurts. the morning is the worst when i get out of bed. i am at my wits end with this. 

  28. I have AT for MONTHS now… I could barely walk right up and just needed to sit after getting home from work due to this injury.. I got into a care plan with my podiatrist and i had been seeing way too many "SPECIALIST" about my AT. I have bought a few pairs of shoes as well, (with the help of google reviews) but never brought light to this annoyance. Lo and behold Soc Doc you have answered my prayer… as I am watching the video, followed the instructions and immediate relief was felt and believe me.. I have not felt this good FOR MONTHS!!! Stretching and wearing Orthotics have never helped and I thought I needed to learn patience and just agree with such agony. Thank you and hope this video helps out everyone as much as it did me. Good Karma along the way Soc Doc, you need a TV show for sure! Will keep doing this everyday until I feel no more pain! Cheers and best of luck to you! 

  29. When do you resume stretching? I see a lot of other videos where they say stretch multiple times a day. Confusing.

  30. excellent video.  thanks.  i have a little achilles tendonosis on my right side, and on the inside (medial) part of my achilles there is a small lump- which feels about the size of a pea.  I WENT HEEL STRIKE TO FOREFOOT TOO FAST I THINK. Pain on running at the start and sometimes after 8-9miles or so.  Will the massaging the knots out of my calf/ soleus help get rid of the pea-sized lump on pain?

  31. I have a bump on my achilles just like yours. I tried physical therapy and nothing works. I have had this for 8 years and it will not go away, it is very painful. You mentioned you got cortisone shots to cure yours, my therapist never mentioned that to me. Do you think I should try that since nothing has worked for me?

  32. I have had over 6 surgeries for Haglund's Deformity, heel spurs and even had a rod inserted to keep the Achilles in place which was later removed. I have had numerous cortisone and anti-schlerotic injections. I have had arch supports made and I currently just use a heel cup and wear thick socks or two pairs to protect it. I need to change shoes often. Anyway, next visit to Podiatrist will be interesting.

  33. How long do i have to expect healing? Im a middle school runner and i have a race on This upcoming thursday, and i think my overtraining is the result of my injury but i really want to continue training and racing

  34. Dr. What do you think of posterior tibial tendonitis I've been experiencing pain for 8 mo and I wear orthotics to minimize the stress on the tendon but it doesn't help neither pain meds but now I have Achilles tendonitis what do you recommend?

  35. I had a bone resection. Achilles repair and legthing…I'm in pain a lot. And the boot causes sever pain when o wear it..the sugary was done April 10 2015…

  36. Great video, thanks so much! 
    My podiatrist said to stretch using a book about one inch thick, forefoot on the book and heel on the ground in kind of an extended dorsiflex position? what are your thoughts?

  37. Runners advocate using minimalist shoes or running barefoot as a way to treat or prevent Achilles injuries. Their reasoning is that the lower heel puts a stress on the tendon, inducing recovery. Of course, there's no evidence to support this

  38. great video. my only complaint is im watching on my mobile phone and the sub titles cover up everything when you try to physically show/rub/point and certain things. like I said though great video, learned alot…especially the dont stretch it! !

  39. Very useful video.
    Most of my Achilles Pain has gone away but I have lost springiness in my calf (in the injured leg). For example I cannot hop on the injured leg but can hop on the good leg.
    Do you have any advice on regaining strength / springiness in that leg? I've heard plyometrics.

  40. i currently have ach. tendinitits and also a thinning heel pad. liked the video but find much of the info contradictory to most of my research…i've worn orthotics for 25 years with very flat feet and pronation. how in the world can removing them help one problem and then cause another?

  41. Quick question, do you recommend wearing a cast or boot? The foot dr suggested to wear a boot for two weeks, but I feel like it's aggravating the injury. What are your thoughts? – Achilles and posterior tibial tendonitis. Thanks in advance

  42. my Achilles tendons got stepped on. there is pain coming from the tendon to my lower calf. the tendon is very loose, when I put pressure on it, it feels jelloish. help

  43. running was the center of my days… I did it too much and now im plagued by insertional tendonitis/ nothing to do but take months off

  44. my Achilles tendon cut five days ago while I was in soccer training it sound like someone knocked me but unfortunately no one knocked me. I did the surgery two days ago I was discharged yesterday with some pain relief drugs, I have appointments on 11th. sir please will I be able to play football again. with tears in my eyes??

  45. Thank you for posting the information in this video. It really helped me to understand my issue and practical ways to address it

  46. Why do you not suggest stretching? Eccentric exercises and stretching have been known to improve it and also tendinopathy. I have even found that some doctors don't call it tendinitis but rather tendinopathy. I only ask because I have been having insertional Achilles pain and have been eccentric calf raises and also yoga

  47. don't stretch but don't where orthotics … sorry but I strongly disagree. I took my orthotics out for a run in new shoes and my tendonitis flared up like crazy. If I wear heel lifts in my street shoes, it relieves the pressure on the AT.

  48. Trigger point save my life. Also less anaerobic and vitamin D supplement. I'm running in vff kso and i injured in that aera doing stupid speedwork on the track. i realise also that running on a track with vff is hard on the tendon, is it because it's too soft or too much turn? geat video the best so far

  49. Hmmmmm I'm so confused now, a chiropractor told me to stretch and my regular dr gave me these heel lift inserts and your saying the complete opposite. Don't know what to do. My heel hurts so bad at times that you are so right , it makes me feel so not like myself.

  50. Thanks for the video! I was very surprised that after working on the painful spots in my calf totally removed the pain in my Achilles tendon. Great advice!!! This is a running injury due to stress / possibly over exercise.

  51. I hurt my Achilles back in 2012 from months of over training in preparation for 4 different 5k's that year. With very little knowledge about the Achille I wound up hurting them both. I wanted the cortisone injection but doctors don't recommend those any more and after months of therapy the problem is still present I believe my achilles would really improved after cortisone injections if I can find a doctor to do them would you recommend that if so what doctor?

  52. I injured mine about two years ago and it seems to be getting worse instead of better. Wore a boot for about 3 weeks. Injury was from playing basketball for the first time in months. Any suggestions other than what is in this video?

  53. I have this in both Achilles' tendons since last summer in Ibiza , i can walk fine and run once it's warmed up but it's still feels constantly bruised and I need to stretch tendon every morning … pain in the ass will it ever go been 8 months now

  54. Which role has the hormone estrogen on tendonitis. Could low estrogen be a cause of it, especially in combination with high cortisol and low testosteron?

  55. I have pump bump on right heel but no pain there, i feel achilies pain in left, I'm a soccer player , stopped training 2 weeks before; just jogged once, how much should i rest??

  56. Hi, what can I do? I have plantar fascitis, heel spur, and now achilles tendon. I'm on pain. Hard to walk. I got two cortisone shots, now I'm just sitting down. Please advice. It's hard to put pressure on my feet, even with shoes on. My feet and sides hurt.

  57. Maybe?

  58. I have pain the in back of my heel, my doctor diagnosed me w/ achilles tendonitis. I have tried to look for tendor spots on in the areas he pointed out but i don't feel any, can someone help me?

  59. I have adult squired flat feet. My understanding is I can’t be without an orthothic bc it can progress pttd????

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