Achilles problem advice needed

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28/05/2012 at 22:46
New runner (4 weeks) suffering a bout of TMTS itus. I've been happily following a plan and building up slowly but last week did an extra run with friends and really felt it the next day in my calves/now realised Achilles. Didn't help I tried out a pair of new balance mt10s either, as before running in my asics 1170s. They're really painful first thing, loosen up by mid morning, and ok till entering. Been taking ibuprofen and trying to ice and gently stretch. Thought they were ok Sunday did a steady 3 miles and felt great, however this morning could barely walk and had to go downstairs on my backside. They eased with ibuprofen, there's no swelling and I've been trying to ice and elevate, and have promised myself I will not run this week but they're still painful at moment. At what point to I give in and go to the doctors - would I really have caused that serious a problem from an extra run? (~2 miles?) Not sure in healing time, and wondering what else I can do - am I right swimming is still ok? What about cycling? Thanks
28/05/2012 at 22:58
Hi Darren,
I think it's a combination of increase in mileage and trying the MT10s.
MT10 is a pretty minimalist shoe as a result is fairly flat compared to your ASICS 1170 which has a reasonable heel on it which takes some pressure of your achilles. Also the 1170 is Structured Cushioned shoe so has much more stability.

The morning pain and stiffness is probably due to inflammation, continue your plan of rest and ice. You may also want to try offload taping. Details on that and other treatments available here;
31/05/2012 at 07:00
Still resting and been icing and using ibuprofen gel as needed, got some kt tape last night and tried that to give it a bit more support/rest.

Finding hardest thing is to not run! Just want to get back out but dont want to make this worse than it is. Left foot seems about 90% now, just the right that's probably 70-80% so hopefully ok by Monday!
01/06/2012 at 15:18

As an update have kept up with the taping, using the offload technique linked above, left foot today is 100% no issues

However right foot... not great.

The tightness in my calf muscles seems to have subsided, and pain on walking isn't really noticable, but any movement loading the tendon is causing pain at my heel.  I've also noticed my heel looks a bit yellow, like its bruised, so don't know if thats a symtom or cause...

I've checked and doing the wall test my left toe is happily 10cm from wall with my knee touching, right cant get past 6-7cm so I believe that is tight.  Any tips on lossening it up?

I can do calf drops and raises, normal straight leg calf stretch is fine, calf stretch with toes raised (on step) is fine, but as soo as I bend my knee and try the stretch it really hurts.  

Can anyone offer any more advice - still resting, did a very short flat bike ride just to get the muscles warm this lunchtime and have stretched as much as I can, will retape soon and hope all well for monday i suppose

01/06/2012 at 17:05
Hi Darren,
Are you doing the soleus stretch?
It's number 5 on this page;
01/06/2012 at 19:12
Hi Tom,

Yes number 5 is the one that hurts on the right foot, pain seems to be right on the heel, no visible swelling and no pain along tendon even if squeezed firmly. Have prodded all round, can't produce the pain without loading the tendon or doing that one stretch - I was fine before this though!
01/06/2012 at 19:48
Hi Darren,
Do you have a race monday?
I wouldn't worry too much, it sounds like it's progressing well. Your first post was only Monday and I wouldn't expect it to settle completely in 4 days. Try that stretch but don't push into pain, just find the point where you can feel a stretch and try and hold it. Stop if it hurts.
It may need a little time to totally resolve
01/06/2012 at 21:08
Thanks Tom!
Yeah fun run Monday 5k not competitive so taking it very slow!
Training for half marathon September 30th!!!

Think I'm being ultra aware of any little twitch in that foot right now
01/06/2012 at 21:31
Half marathon eh? Great distance to do, any target time?
02/06/2012 at 06:26
Just to finish ! Then next one I get competitive
02/06/2012 at 07:40
Have a horrible feeling I've misjudged this, pain more under the foot =PF??? Hope not just saw the recovery times for that!!!
02/06/2012 at 08:58
Hi Darren,
I doubt it's Plantar Fasciitis, it's more likely just feeling a bit sore because the calf is tight. The calf muscle attaches to the heel bone via the achilles and that blends with the plantar fascia so calf and PF are interlinked. Keep doing your stretches and I'm sure it'll settle.
03/06/2012 at 09:06
After several reps of stretching yesterday feeling better today! Not quite there yet but def healing.

Thanks Tom for the help!
03/06/2012 at 11:56
Good stuff! Glad you're getting better!
Good luck for your 5k tomorrow.
04/06/2012 at 11:43
5k done, foot felt ok this morning, couple of twinges but like a 1 out of 10. Concentrated on bending knees, relaxing calves and steady pace - ended up slowing few times for my running partner, did it in 39.09 so lots of stretches I think and hopefully tomorrow it doesn't flare back up.

Thanks for the advice Tom - you're a star dude!
04/06/2012 at 13:59
No worries, glad you got round ok!
Ice would be a good idea now, help prevent too much inflammation.
04/06/2012 at 14:23
Already on that one! Feels great still, not had to take ibuprofen for once! Some tightness but that's to be expected.
06/06/2012 at 16:39

Hi Darren, just wondering how your achilles is now?

I've haven't ran for the last 10+ years and recently got back into it. I decided to sign up for a 10k in july, and was training towards that. It took a while to get going but after a few weeks I wasn't feeling any pain the day after. As I was just getting into I managed to get just under half way distance (2.8ish mile). I felt awful when I finished it, I felt like it took ages too. My right achilles heel was very painful and could barely walk on it afterwards.

That was just under 3 weeks ago now and I'm still having problems with it. I can do all of the stretches without any difficulty and walking is fine. It is only now if I try to run that I still feel a niggle.

Did you have this problem too? If so, what did you do about it, and how long did it take to go away??

I'm really worried that come July I'm not going to be over it and no-where near ready for my run

06/06/2012 at 16:57

Hi Simon and Darren

I have a similar situation to Simon. I did the Manchester 10k  just over 2 weeks ago and got to 5k when my achilles started to hurt. I carried on but by the time I had finished I had difficulty in walking.

I have rested for 2 weeks but now started to do stretch exercises and exercises to strengthen the calf muscles. Unfortunately this has made my achilles very sore.

I don't know whether to continue or rest.

06/06/2012 at 19:49
When mine hurt I decided to rest/ice and take ibuprofen, but for me after 5 days rest it was stretching that really helped. In hindsight I think it was my lower calf causing my issues, and the inflamed Achilles was secondary to that.

At the start of the run it felt a bit sore but this soon went and by the end was fine - but I had warmed up, cooled down and stretched properly for once!
I was shocked that Tuesday after the run Monday I was fine moving on the foot first thing - didn't expect to be walking and did 15km on the bike and all still ok.

If rest and icing aren't working try taping your foot like in the link Tom posted to take some strain off it.

Hope you both manage to get it sorted I hated the idea of not being able to run!
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