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Achilles Tendon

Justyb2010-07-04 14:20:31 +0000 #1
Hi all

I am coming to the end of a 10 month intensive Vinyasa Flow Level 1 Teacher Training Course - the course has been absolutley amazing and transformative both in my personal life and yoga practice. However it has been challenging physically, mentally and emotionally!!

I guess if you are practicing so intensely it is only naturally that some injuries may occur. For the last 6-7 weeks when i begin my practice (after a 15 minute warm up - hip openers, shoulder openers, stretches etc) with sun salutation A & B my achilles tendon in my left foot has the strangest sensation. It is like a stinging feeling as I stretch my foot into down dog - I try to take it easy and stretch it out and it does become a littl eeasier as I go through my salutations. It's not painful per say, more niggley if you get me.

I wanted to ask does anyone know what might be causing this and would they have any advice in how to ease it a little. My main concern is that in the long run I could be damaging the achilles more so in the long run.

Also I have my assessment in 4.5 weeks and obviously don't want to injure myself!!

Any comments/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Namaste

Justine


InnerAthlete2010-07-04 14:24:54 +0000 #2
Three thoughts for you Justine.

The first is sort of a standard for me. When a student is asking about a particular practice or style I think it is best to ask a teacher in that style. So I recommend putting this to the folks you've selected as teachers.

There are several things in Adho Mukha which come to mind. The first is to modify the pose by microbending the knees and/or not pressing the heels to the floor. If one chooses to continue pressing the heels to the floor (and there are obviously reasons to do so) the action of moving the calf muscles into the achilles tendon will protect the tendon where as an action coming from the ankle or heel may not. So I'm suggesting you do the pressing from another location. Since I cannot see you in the pose I cannot determine your actions and their origins. Perhaps you (or your teacher) can.

Finally, you may do Adho Mukha Svanasana with your heels up (or on) the wall. In this way you can have the action and energy as well as the connection without the degree dorsiflexion which may be demanding more length in your achilles tendon then you are ready to provide.
cyclezen2010-07-04 14:35:28 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by Justyb



Hi all

I am coming to the end of a 10 month intensive Vinyasa Flow Level 1 Teacher Training Course ...

I guess if you are practicing so intensely it is only naturally that some injuries may occur.

... my achilles tendon in my left foot has the strangest sensation. It is like a stinging feeling as I stretch my foot into down dog - I try to take it easy and stretch it out and it does become a littl eeasier as I go through my salutations. It's not painful per say, more niggley if you get me.

...

I wanted to ask does anyone know what might be causing this and would they have any advice in how to ease it a little. My main concern is that in the long run I could be damaging the achilles more so in the long run.

...

Any comments/advice would be greatly appreciated.

...

Namaste

Justine

Well, Justine, you prolly won;t like my comments...

physical intensity and injuries does not follow. pushing close to your physical limits does put you closer to creating injuries, but one doesn't necessarily follow the other.

ANother misconception many have is that 'stretching' improves injuries. Depending on the situation, stretching may be counter to injury recovery. And most often 'stretching' movements of injured connective tissue only exaccerbates the injury.

Its true that PT often uses stretching to improve range of motion in joints and associated connective tissue. But thats done with then healthy/recovered tissue and under very controlled supervision and movement.

With initital injury to connective tissue, sensation often subsides after some 'stretching'; but thats not an indication that everything is ok.

If your 'stinging' sensation persists for an extended period of time (days to a week), I would not mess with any possibility of an achilles injury. Speak with a health care pro versed in that area; if you can, and as soon as you can.

I would apply use IA's judgements and apply modifications for any asana which causes any sensation outside of normal tightness of the calf muscle, there should be no sensation when it comes to your achilles. Typical 'overuse' tightness is expected in muscle tissue, not ever in connective tissue.

You just don;t want to go thru an achilles injury, no way, no how.

Be certain of where the 'sensation' is located and if it ain't muscle, then back off and get it sorted.

Recovery from the initial stages of connective tissue injury may be 'inconvenient', but no where near as incovenient as when it progresses.

There's really no way to diagnose anything on your situation, online. You need to have a close and personal look by someone experienced in that area. If it persists, I wouldn;t mess with it. Achilles injuries of even a minor extent can be quite disabling for a long term. Major injuries are just not to be thought of...

Best of luck

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