Achilles Tendinopathy Pain: Not as Uncommon as You Think

Achilles Tendinopathy is a common problem that affects most who have played sport. There are many different causes and treatments that can help you back to 100%. The type of surfaces you play on, the frequency in which you participate and your footwear can increase risk of injury.

In this post we describe the common causes, prevention and possible treatment modalities for Achilles Tendinopathy.

What Is The Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles Tendon is situated on the back of the lower leg. It connects the gastrocnemius (calf), soleus and plantaris muscles to the heel bone. These muscles allow you to point your toes towards the ground. Furthermore, the Achilles is the thickest tendon in the human body and is named after the Greek Hero Achilles.

Achilles Tendinopathy Caused By Running

What Causes Achilles Tendinopathy and Pain?

There are many different causes of Achilles pain, with many different factors playing a part in true cause of your pain. Below is a small list detailing the most common causes of Achilles pain. For most causes of Achilles pain there are simple changes to exercise or lifestyles that can help your recovery. Furthermore, Achilles pain is often referred to as Achilles Tendinopathy. This is a blanket term that revolves around the degeneration of the Achilles.

  • Overuse
  • Age
  • Rapid Change To Load
  • Traumatic Injury
  • Obesity

Where Are The Two Types Of Achilles Tendinopathy Located?

The two types of achilles tendinopathy will present in either an insertional or non-insertional injury/pain. Therefore, the best way to determine which you have is to seek professional advice. The medical professional will be able to quickly determine which you are suffering with.

Non-Insertional Tendinopathy: This affects the middle fibres of the tendon and is typically present in the more active population.

Insertional Tendinopathy: This affects the insertion of the Achilles into the heel bone. Boney spurs can often form with this type of tendinopathy.

To get this sorted as soon as possible, I would recommend seeing a Sports Therapist or Physiotherapist. You may feel inclined to visit your GP, however, their most likely recommendation will be to rest and take pain killers. We would ideally want to avoid this where possible.

Is There A Way To Prevent Achilles Pain?

With Achilles pain and tendinopathies there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of suffering with this pain. Firstly, take a look at your footwear. Are they appropriate for what you use them for? Offer enough support?

An example of poor footwear is the flat plimsoll type shoe, these offer no support to the foot and ankle. Which can lead to the over-pronation of the foot and ankle. Increasing risk of Achilles Tendinopathy.

Body Mass: A risk factor for Achilles pain is obesity. The increased weight will increase the stress on the tendon. Therefore, just losing a few KG’s can really help in the prevention of Achilles Pain. Learn more about your body mass here.

Loading: Adequately preparing the tendon for activity is key. You wouldn’t go and run a marathon without slowly building up your training. Therefore, try and add specific loading exercises into your training.

Mobility: Within our assessment we will always look at the range of motion of the ankle. If the calf is tight this will increase stress on the tendon.

What Can I Do To Help My Achilles Pain?

There are countless ways you can help your tendon in recovery. Doing nothing is often the prescription for recovery. However, how often do you do this and return to your activity and it flares up again?

Seeking a Medical Professionals advice is the best way for recovery. They can put together a rehab plan that will get you back at a stronger level than you were previously. However, not everyone has the finances to be able to seek this help.

Therefore a couple of simple tips to help reduce your pain when suffering with Achilles Tendinopathy are below.

  • Get Supportive Footwear
  • Regularly Stretch Calf Muscles
  • Take Anti-Inflammatories if required. (Do so at own risk)
  • Load Tissues Appropriately

The Common Myths Of The IT Band

There are a lot of misconceptions about the IT Band out there in the world. In this blog post we will try to explain the common myths surrounding the IT Band.

What is the IT Band?

The IT Band is a fibrous structure that runs along the lateral aspect of your leg. This structure originates at the iliac crest (the round part of the hips) and attaches into the lateral condyle of the tibia (outside of the lower part of the knee). There are two muscles that also connect into this structure; the gluteus maximus and the tensor fascia latae. There are several pathologies that are linked with the IT Band.

Myth 1 – You Can Foam Roll Your IT Band

Obviously, you can get on a foam roller and roll over your IT Band. However, this isn’t reducing any tension in the band, instead it is giving you the false impression that you are fixing your pain and discomfort. Often, the pain and discomfort that presents in the lateral leg is due to tightness or weakness in surrounding muscles. Are you currently suffering with this, if so get in contact so we can start you on the journey to becoming pain free.

IT Band Foam Rolling

Myth 2 – The IT Band Can Be Stretched

The IT Band itself can’t physically be stretched. Instead, stretching of surrounding musculature alongside a strengthening programme will really help to improve outcomes. To stretch the fascia you need to be able to apply around 2000lbs of pressure to it!

Myth 3 – A Tight IT Band Is Causing My Knee Pain

Often the tension on the IT Band can be a contributing factor towards your knee pain. However, this is unlikely the true cause of your pain. By having a full assessment and answering a few simple questions in regards to your lifestyle, exercise level and current pain levels. We can quickly determine a simple idea of the causative factors linked with your pain.

knee pain

How Can I Reduce My Pain?

There are several different things you can do to target your pain. The best thing you can do is to seek professional advice before starting any treatment yourself. Below is a list of potential treatments that will reduce the pain in and around your IT Band.

  • Hip Abductor Strengthening Programme
  • Hamstring and Quadriceps Mobility
  • Anti-inflamatories
  • Management of Loading

Feel free to drop us a message if you have any questions or have any worries about your own pain. We are more than happy to help with anything you may have going on!


How Does My Running Style Affect The Running Shoe I Need?

Whether you are new to running or an experienced runner; having the right footwear is essential to help you get the most out of your running but also to reduce the risk and prevent injuries from occurring. For all of your running shoe needs and to get a gait analysis to determine the best shoe for you visit Fit2Run in Abingdon.

What are the 3 main types of running gait?

To truly determine your running gait, you will need to either film yourself or be filmed running. This will show how your foot is interacting with the ground. Ultimately, this will lead to you find the perfect footwear for your natural running style.

  • Supinated: This is when the outer side of the foot strikes the ground, landing more on the outer portion of the sole. This is usually seen in runners with high arches.
  • Pronated: Around 70% of the population will over-pronate when running. As the foot is planted it rolls inward excessively, transferring weight to the inner edge instead of evenly spreading it over the whole sole. It’s usually seen in runners with low arches or flat feet.
  • Neutral: This occurs when you place your foot down and land on the outer edge of the sole. The foot then pronates in a controlled manner, distributing weight evenly, helping with the shock absorption. On push off, there is an even distribution of pressure from the front of the foot.

What makes a neutral shoe?

  • Majority of the cushioning is in the heel. As the whole foot or majority of the foot comes into contact with the ground, less support is needed elsewhere.
  • These types of shoes may be lighter as there is less cushioning and support needed.
  • The shoes design may make the shoe appear more curved. As there is a less need for more cushioning and support, the shoe doesn’t touch the ground throughout.

You will choose a neutral shoe if you have a neutral or supinated running style.

What makes a stability shoe?

A stability running shoe will provide more support to the inside of the foot. This will help to stop over pronation of the feet when running. These are typically heavier than neutral shoes due to more cushioning and support.

You will get this shoe if you have an over pronation running style.

Neutral Shoe Examples

Men’s Shoes

Asics Gel-Nimbus

Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 Men’s

Check it out here

ON Cloudflyer

ON Cloudflyer Men’s

Check it out here

Women’s Shoes

Asics Gel-Pursue 7

Check it out here

Brooks Glycerin 19 Women’s

Check it out here

Stability Shoe Examples

Men’s Shoes

Asics GT-4000 2 Men’s

Check it out here

Brooks Transcend 7 Men’s

Women’s Shoes

Asics GT-4000 2 Women’s

Check it out here

New Balance 860v10 Women’s

If you have any questions about your running style and shoe’s get in contact with the highly experienced team at Fit2Run.

If you want to know more about running injuries check out our blog post here.


Why Do I Suffer With Knee Pain

Knee pain can present in so many different ways, often being caused through the most innocuous movement/activity. A lot of the time, you will have small things building up over a period of time before you suffer with your pain or injury.

knee pain

What can cause my knee pain?

There are so many potential causes of knee pain that I won’t cover them all in this post. Instead I will try to touch on as many as possible. The two key areas that can lead to or increase the risk of knee is the level of strength and range of movement of the muscles around the knee. Weakness and tightness in the muscles can predispose you to injury. You may be sat there thinking, so what, I stretch all the time and strengthen my muscles but I still suffer with pain. The list below outlines potential causes of knee pain.

  • Age
  • Previous Injury
  • Excessive Weight
  • Significant Trauma
  • Lack of Strength
  • Lack of Flexibility
knee pain causes

Pain on the inside of the knee

If this is you, and you are suffering with pain on the inside of the knee, the first you should do is book in with a professional. Most causes of medial knee pain are typically traumatic in their onset. If you have the sensation of locking, giving away or feeling as if there is something in your knee catching as you move your leg; you may have damaged some important structures.

Sports that have lots of twisting and turning can increase the risk of medial knee pain, this can cause extra strain on the MCL. Activities that involve planting of the foot and then a twist can put you at risk of a meniscus injury. As you get older however, you are naturally at a greater risk of arthritis. If untreated/managed can cause significant damage to the knee.

Pain behind the knee

There are several causes again of pain behind the knee. Muscles that attach in and around this area include the calves and hamstrings. Straining these muscles, if they are inadequately prepared for activity can lead to pain behind the knee. Alternatively, your pain can be caused by a Baker’s Cyst. This is normally quite obvious to diagnose, due to the big lump that sits in the back of the knee. All the cyst is made up of is synovial fluid. This may need to be drained by a doctor, however, if the true cause of the Baker’s Cyst is determined it can be possible to get rid of this through specific exercises and treatments.

knee strengthening

Pain on the outside of the knee

This is a common problem that is seen in runners. Often referred to as Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The repetitive bending and straightening can cause the IT band to become inflamed and painful. This is commonly seen in runners who have had a sudden spike in their workloads, whilst also having reduced levels of flexibility. The best place to start with this if you suffer with this is to look at 3 things.

  • Your week to week loading/mileage
  • The footwear you have
  • The surfaces you run on
  • Or if you are a cyclist, look at the position of your knee as you pedal
Lateral Knee Pain

Pain on the front of the knee

So again there are multiple causes that lead to this. I see this often most weeks and it is usually caused by 2 specific areas of tightness. Tightness in the hamstrings and/or tightness of the rectus femoris muscle (front of the thigh).

Both of these muscles being tight will affect the tilt of the pelvis, which in-turn will play a part in how your kneecap is tracking. When the kneecap is influenced by a tight rectus femoris muscle you can find that you have pain just under the kneecap. This is due to the greater strain placed on the patella tendon through the tight muscles.

How can I get rid of my knee pain?

First things first, get assessed first to fully determine the cause of your pain. It isn’t a one shoe fits all when it comes to exercises to get you pain free again. However, working on your flexibility really does help. Although, if you are doing mobility exercises, make sure you are strengthening your muscles too. What is the point of increasing your movement if it is going to be weak throughout the movement?

  • Get Stretching
  • Get Strengthening
  • Get Assessed
  • Get Fixed

Why do I get pain in my knee when I run?

Knee pain is a very common problem in the general population whilst runners are very often affected with knee pain, with this being called runners knee. Pain can be caused through injury to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and to other joint structures. The onset of pain isn’t the same for everyone, however, the pain is either acute or chronic in nature.

What is runners knee?

Runners knee is often associated with a dull pain at the front of the knee. More often than not, this leads to the knee being painful to touch. Whilst, there is often the sensation of rubbing, grinding or clicking linked to this problem. After a prolonged period of sitting there can be pain felt in the front of the knee, with a feeling of knee instability noticed during runners knee.

Why do I suffer from runners knee?

  • Muscle weakness
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Tight Achilles tendons
  • Poor foot support
  • Poor running biomechanics
  • Excessive training or overuse
  • Tight quadriceps

Muscle tightness can lead to this problem due to the alteration of where the knee-cap sits within the joint. To reduce the risk of developing runners knee you should aim to perform stretches and strengthening exercises, an example for this is further down the page.

I get my pain on the inside of the knee, why?

Medial knee pain can be caused by many things. This could be caused through a medial collateral ligament injury (the main ligament on the inside of the knee). This is usually injured through a traumatic episode by which a large force is applied to the outside of the knee of the standing leg. Other than this, medial knee pain can be caused through an inflammation of a bursa, bruise from a traumatic impact or muscle weakness. The best thing to do is to seek professional advice. Ideally, you should book an appointment with a physiotherapist or a graduate sports therapist, to get to terms with what is causing your pain.

What are the main causes of knee pain?

The main causes will vary person to person. Different activities and personal movement biomechanics will predispose people to different injuries more so than other people.

  • Age – as you get older you are more at risk of arthritis related knee pain
  • Gender – Women can be more at risk of knee pain due to the angle at which their femur is, this is due to the difference in angle of the femur between males and females
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle tightness
  • Overuse
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Alteration in postural alignment

Why do I have hip pain now I have started running?

There are many reasons as to why you may be suffering with hip pain. Whether an acute or chronic injury this can often be severely painful. Lying on the side may illicit symptoms or a long period of inactivity can lead to pain. The many different causes of hip pain can be accurately diagnosed by a professional, and whilst you can try to help to yourself; best practice would be to get a professional to accurately diagnose your problem. Then a treatment action plan will truly benefit you in the long run.

What causes general hip pain?

General hip pain can come in all sizes and shapes. The type of hip problem that you are suffering with is dependent on a variety of factors. Your age is a key factor in the development of hip pain. The older you get the more at risk of arthritis you are, whilst, other structures become less able to react to potential forces placed on them. Tendon injuries and joint capsule injuries become more common and frequent with poor management following the initial injury.

  • Tendinopathies
  • Bursitis – Inflamed bursa
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle Strain

What can cause hip pain during a run?

Ultimately, you should seek professional assessment and advice to fully determine the root cause of your pain. This can then bring about the best corrective exercises to get you back running pain free again.

Hip pain from running can present in many ways but two of the most common injuries that affect runners are muscle strains through a sharp increase in the acute workload/overuse of a muscle or hip impingement. Hip impingement is commonly referred to as femeroacetabular impingement (FAI), and is caused through the interaction of the femoral head on the acetabulum.

What are the most common hip injuries in a sports person?

  • Acute adductor strains
  • Adductor tendinopathy
  • Osteitis pubis
  • Sportsman hernia
  • FAI

These are the 5 most common pathologies that can illicit hip pain. Some of these will cause groin pain too, but the professional will be able to determine the root cause through accurate assessment. Hip injuries are most common in sports that involve high speed change of direction movements and kicking, such as; football and hockey. The best thing to do when you suspect and injury is to rest it, elevate and ice it. Check out a previous post of the immediate management following an acute injury here.

Exercises to prevent hip pain

My hip pain also gives me knee pain; what can I do to help this?

The muscle that sits on the mid-portion of your quadriceps is called the rectus femoris muscle. This sits across two joints, so if and when it gets tight it is going to affect the hip and also the knee. In several cases the pain sits at the front of the knee or just below the patella. This is simple to diagnose and fix, often, a deep tissue massage will get rid of your pain quickly. The video above shows exercises that are perfect to get rid of hip pain, with these certainly able to help get rid of this type of hip pain.