Well there has been a lot of research over the years regarding problems with this tendon. Probably there has been a lot of interest and investment into the causes prevention and treatment as it can cause Professional Sports people to have to take valuable time out from competing. So loss of earnings, takings and sponsorship for the individual or club can be very relevant. Seth O’Neill PhD BSc MCSP has done some excellent research into this problem and I shall be discussing some aspects in my Blog over the next few days.
The length of symptoms and treatment can vary as can the trigger, the most common appeared to be increases in training load with 64% people reporting this with 31 % reported having been training at a steady level at the point of onset and the rest not sure.
Calf muscle weakness is a known risk factor but if you maintain your normal running volume ,your body can cope as it is in homeostasis and so you are unlikely to develop Achilles Tendinopathy, the main cause of calf pain. But when you try and increase the distance, intensity or frequency too much, too soon and without rest days the problem develops .
So training load is probably the most important factor BUT why is lock down a problem?
It is people because people have more time and are tempted to increase their running intensity and go out every day to fulfill their allowed time outside. Further discussion to follow.
Last week I had a few patients who have had recent fractures in the early part of the New Year and given a rehabilitation program which would normally be reviewed and updated every few weeks. Obviously because of the current situation this can’t be done so they are then trying to put them into practice themselves.
They were given enough exercises to cover them until the expected time of full recovery, which although in practice seemed reasonable it has left the patient anxious that their timing of progression is either too slow or too fast.
They have approached me and even though initially apprehensive they have found that doing video sessions on Zoom or Whats App was ” More helpful than you can possibly appreciate.”
So we are able to and give guidance where necessary.
Well an explanation from my last post … as a gardener myself I know how easy it is to get absorbed with clearing those weeds and nurturing that lovely soil , but it takes time. There are usually many tasks that need attention: pruning ;tidying ; refreshing pots with new soil; poss starting a compost heap and using old weeds to create plant food. So my point is keep tasks to 30 mins and swap to another one so the body , muscles and joints don’t get overused and you can make it a relaxing and rewarding part of your isolation…
Also what happens if you get in the digging mindset that you forget to drink fluids regularly as often . You need to hydrate every hour and yes you will need to go to the loo if you have hydrated properly. but it will make you have a break or not stay too long…
Over the last few days we have patients get in touch regarding having had an” unexplained ” incident of acute low back pain. When delving deeper it wasn’t just because they have spent an hour on a crossword…( why are people getting so engaged with crosswords all of a sudden) or the fact they bent to pat the dog but possibly that they have spent an unusually long time at the allotment/garden digging .
I know people have to occupy themselves and are doing those jobs that they have put on the back burner for years , but take things slowly…
It is like training for any new physical activity it needs to be gradual… see my next post..