Achilles tendonitis in rugby

What is Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis can be triggered by a number of things, including:

  • Rapidly increasing running distance or speed
  • Adding hill running to training routine
  • Starting too quickly after a break from exercise (This occurs frequently at the beginning of a soccer season when there is a sudden increase in activity)
  • Sudden contraction of the calf muscles such as during a final sprint
  • Overuse resulting from a lack of flexibility in the calf muscles

Symptoms of tendonitis

  • Pain in the morning
  • Painful at the beginning of exercise until warmed up
  • Advanced tendonitis - constant pain
  • Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use
  • Swelling

What you can do

  • Rest and ice the area
  • Reduce training, cut out speed or hill work
  • Stretch calf muscles gently when the muscle and tendon are warm
  • Avoid excessive stretching, as this may aggravate the problem
  • Strengthen the calf muscle
  • If pain persists for more than two weeks, follow-up with a physician
  • Visit a sports injury specialist, physiotherapist or orthopaedic surgeon

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