Running is in full bloom at this time of year, even if it means you go out early in the day or late in the afternoon to avoid the hottest time of the day. As a result I’m seeing more and more of the same injury…pain underneath the Achilles tendon at the very lowest portion of the lower leg.
There is a muscle called flexor digitorum longus, and another called flexor hallicus longus, that originate underneath your Achilles tendon and insert into the bottom of your toes (digitorum) and big toe (hallicus). I suggest you look these muscles up by doing an internet search, it will help you to understand the problem.
Through the years I’ve seen this muscle primarily contracted on athletes, especially a person who is in a running sport (including soccer, baseball, etc.). The reason is because when you are running you really press down onto your toes in order to push off from each step. Normal walking doesn’t cause this muscle to contract much because usually the push off is coming from the ball of your foot and not your toes.
If you already have my book, “Treat Yourself to Pain Free Living,” the treatment is in the chapter about the lower leg. Just realize that the muscle is deep so you need to really press hard to reach it. It’s also beneficial to do the treatment for the tibialis posterior (look that muscle up too) since it comes down the inside (back side) of your tibia bone and can be felt in the lower portion of your lower leg.
If you love to run, it’s important to know how to self-treat your muscles. The muscles of you lower leg will cause conditions such as shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. All of them can cause you to stop running, and each of them are so easy to treat that it would be a pity to have them side-line you. Plus, you may end up being told you need to get orthotics (at approx. $400) when all it’s a matter of doing is releasing the tension in your muscles.
Have a great summer,