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ACHILLES CARE

ACHILLES INJURIES ARE RIFE AMONG RUNNERS. IN AN EXTRACT FROM HIS NEW BOOK, PHYSIOTHERAPIST PAUL HOBROUGH TELLS HOW BEST TO LOOK AFTER THE TENDONS

INJURY

Achilles pain starts as heel stiffness, but can become debilitating

THE ACHILLES – the tendon that attaches the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (known together as the calf muscles) to the calcaneus (heel bone) – is such a common area for runners to injure that only the knee can knock it off the top of the injury leader board. Pain is noticed more as Achilles stiffness initially, first thing in the morning. It’s only when the pain starts to influence their running do they present to clinic in search of some answers.

Common reasons for injury

Why the Achilles is such a common site for injury is largely unknown despite several internet articles suggesting that it’s down to poorly fitting shoes, bad running technique or, my personal bugbear, overpronation. The fact is that we just don’t know what the main cause is. What we do know is that the tendon itself breaks down. When it becomes injured it affects the collagen fibres that make up the tendon and this causes stiffness and pain. The fibres have a short-lived period of inflammation and then what’s left is a sort of inflammatory soup that causes disruption to the fibres, which creates the common bump seen on the distal third of the tendon.

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About AW – Athletics Weekly Magazine

THE BIG INTERVIEW 14 ANDREW BUTCHART How the Scottish runner will try to build on his magnificent 2016 SPOTLIGHT 18 ED WARNER UKA chair on preparations for the 2017 World Championships 24 RACE PRIZES Road runners recall their most bizarre winnings 26 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Triple Olympic champion Peter Snell looks back on his career 30 RON PICKERING FUND Twenty-five years after Ron Pickering’s death, Stuart Storey recalls the success of the RPMF ACTION 40 BMAF CROSS RELAYS Records go at Long Eaton as eight clubs share the spoils PERFORMANCE 34 Sports science news 36 Treating Achilles problems 38 Products – rain jackets TALKING POINT 20 Sub-2:20 marathoner Michael Crawley gives an inside view on anti-doping in Ethiopia NEWS 6 Laura Muir on doubling up 8 Birmingham Half has wide appeal RESULTS & FIXTURES 44 Results round-up 57 What’s On fixtures guide PREVIEWS 56 Liverpool Cross Challenge REGULARS 23 Book reviews 32 Young Athlete 61 Quiz – test your