THE CLINIC: Bad Shoe Fit Can Lead to Achilles Irritation

Wed, 10 Oct. 2012 - 1:50 a.m. MT
Credit: ARA Staff - American Running Association

QUESTION:

Several months ago my Achilles tendon started bothering me. I noticed that the soreness was where the upper part of my shoe rubbed on the tendon. So I cut the shoes to try to prevent further rubbing and put heel lifts in. But I am still having trouble. Now there is a little bump there. Is there anything else I should do?

Margot Weimer

Boston, MA

 

ANSWER:

Most running shoes are made with an Achilles notch to prevent irritation to the tendon. The irritation, which may be minor at first, can escalate into a major problem. First, stop running and see a sports physician familiar with runners. If there is a bump or thickening in the tendon, there may be chronic inflammation with scar tissue, degeneration, or even a partial tear, with real risk for an Achilles tendon rupture. An MRI should help with diagnosis and treatment, which will necessitate rest and may include physical therapy. If the injury is severe, surgery may be required. This is not something to ignore.

Patrick J. Nunan, DPM

West Chester, OH

 

Pistoning of the foot in the shoe—this is the back and forth sliding motion of the foot inside the shoe—can exacerbate Achilles tendon irritation. Try a tongue pad glued onto the back of the shoe tongue (available at specialty shoe stores). When glued to the foot side surface of the shoe tongue, along with tight lacing, the back and forth movement of the foot can be reduced.

Marvin Bloom, MD

Burlingame, CA

DISCLAIMER: The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.

The American Running Association (ARA) and its Clinic Advisory Board disclaims responsibility and shall have no liability for any consequences suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. ARA does not endorse specifically any test, treatment, or procedure mentioned on this site.

 

 

(RUNNING & FITNEWS® May / June 2012 • Volume 30, Number 3)




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