Living here in beautiful Tampa Bay, many of our clients are runners, cyclists, and swimmers. We also see those who skateboard, paddle board, etc. So a common complaint is Achilles pain. Sometimes the client might say they have pain in the back of the heel or foot. Let’s keep in mind that these people walked in so this isn’t a sharp pain or severe structural injury most of the time. The sports and activities these people do heavily involve the calf muscles and as a result, repeated or abrupt contraction can tighten the muscle to the point that it refers an achy type of pain down into the heel or foot.
So how can you help it? If you follow the Achilles tendon straight up to just under the meaty part of the calf and push in firmly, you will feel the area causing this referral pain. Hold for 60-90 seconds and release. It should be uncomfortable but not painful. This may take the pain away completely. You can repeat this a couple times per day if necessary. If the pain is due to inflammation at the heel attachment, this technique and stretching will help alleviate pressure caused by shortening of the calf muscles and should help ease your symptoms as well.
If this and stretching the calf doesn’t give you long term relief, give us a call and we can help. There are other lower leg and even hip muscles known to refer pain to the ankle and foot. Sometimes the Achilles tendon itself is aggravated. Rest it and stretch. Keep it propped up and elevated when you’re not moving around on it. These go a long way to get you back in the game.
If you’re in Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, or St. Pete, be sure to give us a call. We’d love to be your therapist of choice for sports massage and therapeutic recovery.