One of the most common overuse injuries seen in runners is Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon runs from the back of the leg to the heel bone. Prolonged running can lead to the over-development of the Achilles tendon. This, in turn, causes shortening of the muscles that comprise the Achilles tendon. Eventually, the Achilles tendon tightens. When the body glides over the foot, as it does when running, the Achilles tendon is stretched. It is sometimes stretched to the point of tearing. The tendon soon becomes inflamed and causes tendonitis.
Proper stretching exercises may be the only treatment needed to clear up this condition. Heel lifts in the shoes can also help. Ice, massage, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy can also be beneficial. Foot orthotics may also be needed to control abnormal motion of the heel when running.
Remember, don't over train. Stop if you get sore or tired. Always wear good, supportive, comfortable running shoes. Have fun and be careful.
Evan Kelner, DPM