When it comes to pain in the Achilles, many sufferers will be able to say exactly what they were doing at the time it happened.
“I was running my last hill sprint”, or “I was mid-climb on the bike” are common ones I’ve heard, and since we humans get a hit of dopamine (the happy hormone) when we make sense of something, we often make the leap from the activity we were involved in, to the pain we got, and make the reasonable assumption that the activity must have caused it.
The trouble is, that’s not exactly true…
My #1 Achilles Pain Secret
We get pain when the tissue involved is being asked to do way more work than it can cope with, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the tissue itself is the reason the pain happened.
The Achilles is the tendinous part of the calf muscle that attaches the leg bone to the foot. The opposite end attaches just above the knee as shown in this picture from Thieme (2005)
The Achilles is stretched when the heel drops in relation to the toes (which is why most Achilles pain occurs when pushing off the toes), but what most people don’t realise (shh, don’t tell them – it’s our little secret) is that it’s also stretched when the thigh bone is rotated inwards or outwards, though it’s more common that the thigh bone is rotated inwards due to tight inside thigh muscles and hip flexors.
If the top part of the calf muscle gets stretched when the thigh bone rotates, the Achilles is subjected to a sustained twisting force, pulling it into a lengthened and tight position which results in its natural elastic recoil capabilities being severely reduced. Then if you add a repetitive activity like running or cycling on top of that, the forces that the Achilles must tolerate become too much very quickly, which results in pain. But before that, technique problems like landing heavily and feeling like you’re shuffling instead of running start happening.
Simply by removing the rotation of the thigh bone, the natural elastic recoil capabilities of the Achilles is restored, and the forces it is subjected to are significantly reduced. This quickly removes the heavy landing and shuffling run technique and removes the pain that was caused by the repeated over stretching of the calf.
When the thigh bone is rotated, trying to remove the pain by stretching the calf or trying to strengthen it first is not likely to make much difference, since the strain created by the rotated thigh bone has not been removed.
This internal rotation of the thigh bone has been the real cause of so many of my clients with Achilles pain that oftentimes their pain would disappear well before we even started working with the lower leg – I felt like I was working in “stealth” mode!
In many cases, the symptom can be in different places, but it’s the same underlying cause that’s the real issue. For example, Plantar Fasciitis (pain in the sole of the foot, near the heel) can be the symptom of the exact same twisting forces going through the Achilles, but if the Achilles is coping better than the muscles that attach to the sole of the foot, you’ll get your pain there instead.
It’s secret information like this that’s woven into the fabric of every single plan I create, making sure you get the maximum results from the efforts that you make – and walking you through each stage of my exclusive 3M Flow™ treatment system to ensure that your pain doesn’t come back.
Take the 60 Day Plantar Fasciitis Banishment Plan for example.
In the first week, we look at unwinding the hips, then in the second week, the inside thigh. It’s not until the third week that we start to deal with unwinding the tightness in the lower leg.
This way, we get the best possible results from our efforts once we get there, before strengthen your body in a different way to stop the problem from coming back.
This plan is equally suitable for someone with Plantar Fasciitis as someone with Achilles pain, and even for those who don’t want to have this kind of pain in the first place!
My methods do sound a bit crazy to some, but there’s always a method in my madness!
There’s oodles more plans to try inside the SMARTT® Club membership and you can give any of them a go with the Access All Areas 7 Day Trial here if you’re looking for one to try for this issue that only covers your trial period, I’d recommend the 7 Day Internally Rotated Femur Plan. That way you can do the whole thing, and you find it doesn’t suit you, simply cancel your trial – no drama.
If you’re not ready to give the membership a go yet, but you’ve been struggling with an ankle or foot issue, then you’ll find some FREE movements inside your free mostmotion® account. I’d suggest doing them in this order:
– Hip Flexors 5 ways
– Adductor Playlist
– Foot & Ankle Mini Course
If you haven’t got a free account yet, you can create one simply by entering your email below
Whichever method you try, don’t forget to let me know how you got on – I love hearing your stories!