Man pulls a running shoe on a stone on a stone over his Achilles tendon bandage


Achilles tendon pain after running

These are the causes, this is what you can do about it

We usually only really notice it when it causes us problems, and yet it is the largest and one of the most important tendons in our body: the Achilles tendon. Most people know that it is named after the (almost) invulnerable Greek hero. Its exact function, however, is less well known.

In this article, we will therefore look at the function of the Achilles tendon, why it can cause pain and what you can do to stay in the game or on the running track.

Pain in the Achilles tendon during jogging: These are the causes

There are various reasons why our Achilles tendon can cause problems from time to time and can sometimes be very painful. Here are just a few:

  • Unsuitable running shoes, e.g. with material that is too stiff or too unstable, or an inappropriately placed heel cap.
  • Extreme exertion, e.g. speed or mountain running
  • Too short a recovery period between training sessions
  • Incorrect loading, e.g. one-sided loading of leg or foot
  • Incorrect running technique, e.g. one-sided forefoot running
  • Too little warming up and pre-stretching of the calves

In general, shortened, tense or tired calf muscles are unfavourable because - as we learned above - they play a decisive role in the function of the Achilles tendon.

Symptoms and degrees of Achilles tendonitis

Especially if you are a man (about five times more likely), you are at risk of overloading your Achilles tendon with an injury, a so-called "tendopathy". This can be acute or chronic. Achilles tendon complaints are always unpleasant, but there are differences in the severity of the irritation.

Stage I: Mild, reversible pain

If you increase your running training too quickly or wear running shoes that do not fit optimally, micro-tears in the tendon structure can occur, similar to the muscular micro-tears in a sore muscle. Fortunately, such tendon changes often disappear after six to eight weeks if you reduce your training.

Stage II: Painful thickening of the tendon

Here, an ultrasound often already shows a clear change and thickening of the tendon structure. As vessels and nerve endings grow into the tendon, the pain increases even more.

Stage III: Severe, barely reversible damage and loss of function of the tendon

In the third stage, the tissue becomes scarred and loses its full functionality. You should avoid this condition at all costs. An Achilles tendon support like our Sports Achilles Support helps you to do this.

Man with ankle bandage runs at dusk over a meadow with a high grass

Achilles tendon pain after running: What you can do

Take a break!

Even if it seems obvious, it cannot be said often enough: If you have pain, you should go to an orthopaedist and first take a break from training. Your doctor will tell you how long this should last. However, in order to be able to put the right strain on your Achilles tendon again, you should generally take at least six weeks off.

Cool and relieve the pressure on your Achilles tendon!

If your Achilles tendon is inflamed, you should do something good for it from time to time, especially at the beginning, and reduce the inflammation. Cooling the affected leg, e.g. with a gel pad and ice cube massages to stimulate blood circulation, is a good way to do this. Special ointments can also help to reduce the inflammation. In addition, it is helpful to relieve the pain area, which you can achieve by elevating your feet, using cushioned soles or raising the heel of your shoe, among other things.

Wear an Achilles tendon brace!

Speaking of doing something good for your heel: Wearing an Achilles tendon bandage, such as our Bauerfeind Sports Achilles Support, is also an excellent way to do this.
The support has the advantage that it not only effectively relieves your Achilles tendon, but thanks to the special functional pad and small nubs, it also provides targeted stimuli to the surrounding tendon area and thus helps to reduce swelling and oedema by activating the metabolism in the affected area.

Better safe than sorry: How to prevent Achilles tendon pain when running

As mentioned above: the close interaction of the Achilles tendon with the calf muscles is crucial for pain-free walking and running. The be-all and end-all for the performance of the Achilles tendon is therefore a flexible and strong calf musculature. That's why it's a good idea to include regular exercises in your training to help you effectively prevent Achilles tendon pain. On our topic page you will find exercises to strengthen your calves that are particularly suitable for runners - but are also helpful for all other sports.

Back to nature: simply run barefoot

Probably the easiest way to prevent Achilles tendon problems is to leave your shoes off. Leaves of grass, small stones or twigs under the bare soles of your feet strengthen your foot muscles and help to avoid bad posture.

And then there is the area of stretching. Although it is controversial in sports medicine that regular stretching is suitable for injury prevention, you should find out for yourself whether it can enrich your training. On our page on this topic we have described some exercises that you can easily do before or after your running training.

Achilles tendon pain during sport: We have the solution

Our Bauerfeind Sports Achilles Support is the Achilles tendon support for sports.

The integrated Achilles pad, together with the 3D Airknit knit of our support, exerts an alternating pressure massage. Thanks to small nubs and two pressure points on the lower wing, targeted stimuli can be applied that activate the muscles, improve the metabolism locally and thus help to reduce swelling and oedema.

Would you like to learn more about how our brand new ankle support for the Achilles tendon works? Then take a look at our product page here:

Our Sports Achilles Support: How it helps you