History | Achillodynia


The course of the achillodynia can usually be assigned to certain stages. At the beginning, when the wear and tear of the tendon is not yet very pronounced, pain occurs only after intensive and unaccustomed strain in the form of a prick or pinch. The pain usually begins one day after the overloading activity and gradually subsides in the following days.

Since the tendon is not yet irreversibly damaged at this stage of the disease, it is very important to take the pain occurring during sports seriously and to take it easy. If the tendon affected by microtraumas is not protected and healed, its wear and tear will continue to progress and consequently pain will occur even with light to moderate strain on the foot. Although the pain disappears in this stage of the disease when the foot is protected accordingly, it usually reoccurs during sporting activities, since the tendon has already been damaged to such an extent that its complete regeneration cannot be achieved by sparing it.

Typical in this stage of achillodynia is that the pain usually occurs at the beginning of sporting activity from resting situations, such as in the morning after getting up, which is known as so-called start-up pain. It is also typical that the pain gets better after this initial stress and can then often continue to train without pain. If the wear and tear of the tendon continues to progress, the pain is no longer limited to sporting activity, but also occurs during everyday movements such as normal running, causing a high level of suffering and an enormous reduction in quality of life. Finally, a permanent pain can result, which is constantly present even at rest.


The duration of an achillodynia depends crucially on the type of disease progression; depending on whether you are dealing with an acute or chronic achillodynia, you can expect a few days or even several years. However, if important warning signals from the body are heeded early on, a protracted chronic course can almost always be avoided and after a few days of rest and cooling, the symptoms disappear again. The healing process is more complicated if the clinical picture is particularly pronounced and/or if there is already a chronicity.

Also the duration until achillodynia occurs varies greatly from patient to patient. Some run marathon distances without ever feeling any symptoms of overstrain, whereas others are already plagued by pain after a loose 5 km run. The personal anatomical situation and predisposition, but also the training and especially the stretching condition play an important role.

Prophylaxis through stretching exercises

Since the most common cause of Achillodynia is overloading of the Achilles tendon, it is essential to prepare the tendon well, warm it up and then stretch the Achilles tendon. Good stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon imitate the opposite of what the tendon actually does. So while the Achilles tendon normally pulls the forefoot strongly downwards (leaving us standing on our toes, so to speak), the optimal way to stretch is to pull the forefoot upwards with your toes.

The most powerful variant of this stretch includes the entire back of the leg muscles: While standing, place one foot slightly elevated on a step or stool and pull the toes towards the body. Depending on the degree of stretching, the hand can grasp the toes and further increase the pull towards the body. Achilles’ vision can also be stretched excellently with the help of a step: To do this, one foot stands completely on the step while the heel of the other foot protrudes over the step.

This heel can now be carefully pushed down using your own body weight. The other leg serves as a supporting leg and carries the main weight. However, especially those who are not stretched should stretch more slowly and carefully at the beginning, otherwise there is a risk of torn muscles or tendons and painful overstretching.