achilles tendonitis and scar tissue

If the achilles tendonitis starts to form scar tissue, what’s the best option: directly massage on the tendon to create the required blood flow, or EMS/massage the gastrocnemius, which is where the blood flow starts to go down from, into the tendon in question?

(The second point of view says that it’s not good to directly massage on the hurt tendon).

Help much appreciated.

Much will be dependant on the therapist you are seeing however, you may find it initially quite tender to do to much directly on the tendon so this may impact your initial strategy. Obviously at some point you need to begin with some gentle strokes / massage will need to be performed directly on the site.

Thank you Spike.

Correctly address the origin both of inflammation and scar tissue,which is NOT in the tendon.

Where would the scar tissue be?

Do you recommend to look for the cause of the inflammation and not just treat the site of the pain?

Hi Stephanie,

I have a very bad case of achilles tendontitis as well. The only thing I can remember just before I strained it I had really bad cramps in my calves one day while training. My calf was still sore a few days later but didnt think anything of it. I kept training on the sore calf then a few sessions later it was full blown pain in the morning. I think my calves were not firing properly after the cramps and it may have caused my problem. I dont have time for therapy right now (kids/work/home stuff) But I cant really massage the painful area right now. It feels good but the next day it’s too sore. I think massaging the calf and and above the injured area helps me. Ice at the end of the day and maybe some asprins. Also be careful about the shoes you wear. make sure they dont cut into the insertion of the tendon too much. Hot shower helps in the morning. Kensio tape help a little too.

Sorry for the rambling :slight_smile: Just trying to help…

The scar tissue may be there,and methods which directly address it may help. Not so for what causes the scar tissue to be there first hand.

Yes. Otherwise the existing limitations now revealing themselves as an Achilles’ issue will keep on producing their outcomes,when not there somewhere else!

Yes. Otherwise the existing limitations now revealing themselves as an Achilles’ issue will keep on producing their outcomes,when not there somewhere else!

I could hear you say this before you wrote it :slight_smile:

(Whenever I now have a niggle, I know that it’s a ‘blessing’ to have, as I need to fix something else that will make me run faster and ‘free-er’. )

My mistake this time was changing up things too much when competition season approached, so some things become stronger and other things became weaker, while the mind went off track…

If I’m sprinting and feel my achilles, I just need to pump my arms more (and correctly), and the pain goes away.

Anyway… I still need to get rid of this scar tissue, as it’s there and won’t go away until I rub it away? (?? please correct), and in order to keep the niggle away afterwards, I’ll address the other issues?

The scar tissue is here:

Uploaded with
(I had an x-ray to cancel out the possibility of stress fracture, as doctors in Paris thought, but it wasn’t)

(p.s. thanks nycjay, of course you helped)

Pumping the arms faster increases feedback,and this is the reason you do not feel pain anymore. If there is need to increase feedback,then faulty feedback is coming from somewhere else,and that is where the injury cycle starts. Address that,get rid of the reason scar tissue is there,and the mechanichal stress will take care of the rest.
You may want to start taping your tib-fib ligament on your shin (right where the solid black line indicates “Achilles tendon” in the picture above) with non-elastic tape,to increase feedback from the soles of the feet,and see what changes you start noticing.
Keep the taping 8 hours daily for a couple of months during your daily activities and training. Make sure to replace it after taking showers and bathing.

I have been loving more and more, compression clothing. Long tights rule.
Perhaps 80% less issues now.

Interesting experience. Again,simply an increased feedback scenario.
It is also interesting to note how many products created for whatever claimed purposes end up providing at least some meaningful service simply by increasing general feedback to the brain,often (if not always) without the producers having any clue.
Now we may want to discuss if,and when such a scenario is desirable performance wise.

Perhaps relevant to discussions about feedback, pain, and the brain.

Interesting and well written article.
Pro soccer players love it.
Beyond all discussion we found it provides very low level feedback overall,and its use is generally limited by two huge factors:

  1. where to generate feedback from
  2. what kind of feedback is being generated

Take home message:everything creates a (sensory) feedback. The choice of the means by which it is generated,and its purposeful use are what makes a huge difference in the results (motor output).Knowledge of the intricacies of our brain-body connection and experience allow to choose the most appropriate and effective means to a desired end both in therapy and training.

An interesting starting point for further discussion may be observing how training has been always viewed,analyzed,and managed from an output (efferent) perspective,almost completely ignoring the input (afferent) side of the equation. Take for example neural fatigue:it is always linked to certain output characteristics (how,how often,and how intensely an output is produced),and never to input ones (lack of appropriate feedback for a given task).

I posted yesterday, but, nothing happened…
From what i have noticed, It helps to give you a slightly better feel, If all things being equal - the Compression pants allow you to feel what’s going on and allow you to hold slightly better posture, and hence, give you better stride mechanics, which give you better pace at a faster cadence (Talking distance running and Speed intervals) This better mechanics leads to Fewer Leg issues (as it should)
I feel without them, my mechanics is good, but just good. With the compression pants, the mechanics feel Better, but not yet perfect. It’s all improving, and is so much better than 12months ago.
I also notice i need to keep Magnesium up - helps me a lot (esp in warmer weather, it’s a very sweaty climate here)
Shoes make a huge difference - As my mechanics improve, my shoes last longer - but, once they have worn out, Lower Leg issues big time. Fixed within a few days (or sooner) upon new shoes being worn.
The combination of all Three, Magnesium, Good shoes and Compression wear leave my legs feeling better at age 35 than they did at age 21 (all throughout my 20’s really)

I still Foamroll - but, as the mechanics are getting better and better, the need to foamroll is becoming less and less. And the time spent on the foam per session is less. If the muscle is loose and long from the foamrolling - you get better Feedback during your next session, mechanics improves giving more positive feedback. I would rather Cut a running session and ensure Legs/hips/back etc are able to give me good feedback. Every time i (or you) run with tightness, one gets poor feedback. Is it worthwhile running just for the sake of running because your program calls for it? I would rather run with as good as a Feedback as i can, if that means NOT running, then i wont.

Hope that makes sence?

Tightness comes from lack of proper feedback first hand. What is tightness in the end? Shortened muscles. Why are muscles shortened? Because they are not receiving enough signal to re-lengthen. Foam rolls,tempo,long time being rubbed up and down on massage beds,adjustments may help filling the time gap,but the point is:if the system does not know and learn how to keep the signals up to the level of external demand , it will always protect itself somehow. At muscle level: shortening. No massage,no tempo,no adjustment,no day off neither contain nor can input proper and enough information.

Agreed. And the more we learn to perform our tasks Correctly, the less Shortening we create.
This takes time, and some respond quicker than others.
In the mean time, we do what we have to do to get to that Perfection.
Also - depending on event, and getting to that Point of perfection, we need to hold as perfect form as we can for as long as we can, but, often we will go further, and continue our task Past perfection and into a too deep of a fatigued state.

Charlie mentioned this a lot - Base your training on what you see happening to the person Today. You might think he can handle 500m of high speed work, but, If he starts slapping the floor, or droping his hips, or other such issues that change his form, It’s time to end the session, even if it’s only 300m of speed work. You may make up for the lack of volume in the weights room? or wherever, if you can.

I do the same with my clients. I get them to hold as perfect form as They can in the gym - once their form goes, i pull them out. Sure, they could knock out 3 more Forced Ugly reps, but, what are those ugly reps teaching them?

The hard thing with endurance running - is your fitness improves sooo much quicker than anything else. (does for me) and my legs lag behind a long way. Trying to find that right balance between volume (for fitness) and Recovery (for muscle feedback) is harder than it seems.

Sprinting from a coaching standpoint visually is much easier. You’re in the one area. Distance runs could be a 20km run!

I also have found, the Polar Rs800cx run, is a fantastic Feedback device. On a long run, Cadence and speed is vital. As you fatigue, cadence drops and speed can remain the same. The closer you can keep the two Paired the better. It reinforces positive feedback even as you tire