A lot of runners have Achilles tendinopathy and are advised to stop running! However, research shows that you don’t have to stop running completely if you use a pain-monitoring model. A study from Silbernagel et al. 2007 showed that you can safely continue some activity with Achilles tendinopathy by using this model. This did not demonstrate any negative effects and allowed some continued participation.
In this model a pain intensity score of 3/10 or less is “safe”, 4-5/10 is “acceptable” and > 5/10 is “unacceptable”.
24 hour pain behaviour after exercise seems to be more critical than exercise pain. Stable pain is OK, if increased pain a day later then decrease load. Modifying load is important in settling tendon pain, but tendons need to be loaded progressively so that they can develop greater tolerance to the load.
Future research however must explore if this approach can be applied for different activities / sports and for other types of tendinopathy.
Credits go to the RunningPhysio aka Tom Goom for this amazing article.