Achilles tendonitis

Living with it for 15 months and finally overcoming it

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MTri    pirate
15/02/2012 at 10:23
Must admit, I've only just come across this thread, and wish I'd found it earlier. Currently resting an AT issue that I've had for three months, and has made a dent in my training, and early year race plans. However, ice, heat, stretching and rest and fingers crossed it's back on the mend.

Interesting to read about trying to walk with proper form which is what I've done throughout, but at times (working on construction site), heavy site boots, caked in mud, made walking extremely difficult, and did set me back a few times.
15/02/2012 at 14:59

M.. TRI - That's OK, I've only just written it.

Careful with ladders!  Can you avoid them?

21/02/2012 at 00:09

Boinged.

21/01/2013 at 21:17

Up date:

No recurrence of this injury in the latter part of 2012, despite some gruelling races including Lakeland 50 and North Downs Way 100!

No new comments on this, but I'm bringing it forward ...

21/01/2013 at 21:18

... for paul b 3

26/01/2013 at 22:51

Boing

03/02/2013 at 20:21

I'm wrestling with an achilles problem and have been for about 6 months.  I had a broken bone in my foot last year and such was my excitement at that finally healing that I went out and ran 12 miles and did the achilles in.

It's not really bad - nothing like what has been descibed on here.  It's sore for about 10 steps in the morning and that's about it.  Doesn't really hurt when I run.  The achilles itself has a lump on the back of it which varies in size seemingly randomly and although it's more sensitive than the other achilles, i would say that it is "sore".

I'm not 100% sure what to do - I don't really like hobbling about the morning after a decent run though. My strategy currently is lots of heel drops and stretches and regular 4 - 6 mile gentle paced runs so at least I can get out there and retain some fitness.  Blimmin pain though.

03/02/2013 at 23:38

Elstead - you're doing right what you are doing.  If you can bring yourself to do it you could deepen the notch in the heel tab of your running shoes with a knife. This will help prevent irritation.  Try to keep active and avoid sitting for long periods.

07/02/2013 at 20:06

Thank you very much for this thread - its come as a good warning for me.

I'm starting to have concerns that I am at the very beginning of a problem and keenly wish to nip it in the bud. My achillies on my left foot has started feeling tender and stiff. To look at and touch there is no change. It feels better when I used deep ice (but not deep heat). I very rarely wear heels. My running schedule has increased but at a steady pace over a year. 

One thing I am attibuting to the cause is the way I sit at work. I think my chair is too high so dont have my feet flat so as of tomorrow this will change. But always the crutial question - can I carry on with my training program. Approx 37 miles a week with a long run of 20miles plus (reduce every three weeks). 

Thanks again for this thread. 

09/02/2013 at 12:10

Thread's a year old now but reading it all again I feel it all still makes sense.

Long periods of sitting are bad for knees and ankles.  VY - ensure your heels are on the ground and you could try resting your forefoot up on something when you're at your desk.

Yes keep training, but I'd avoid speedwork and hard downhill efforts for the time being.

10/02/2013 at 20:00

Only just come across this thread. I've been battling with mild AT since the sdw100 last year. Training for grandslam this year but the AT still isn't 100%. Good to read you still ran whilst getting your injury sorted. Going to have to cut the heel tab down on my trainer's then by the looks of it I had read this could help now where is the knife.........

11/02/2013 at 02:51

Lingster - most AT clears up in about 6 weeks but for a few unlucky ones like me and others it can take 15 months.  Keep up your running, just cut down on intensity.  Don't write off your 100-milers!

It takes courage to cut your shoes like that and it does shorten their life span but I've found it helps a lot.  Also choose new shoes on the basis of low heel tabs, e.g. some Mizuno shoes.

11/02/2013 at 20:38
After a hip flexor injury last autumn I've been slowly venturing out again, and loving it, until I felt a "ping" in my left Achilles a month ago. Looked into it and think it's AT, but dare I say that now I've read your thread, I'm not feeling so bad! Ok it gets sore on runs, first thing in the morning, etc., but stretching it out through the day, although comfortable, does help a lot. Having read your there'd I tried an easy 6 miles today at a much slower pace than normal, and not one ache! The tendon is still a lot more swollen than the other leg, but without going silly you've spurred me on to keep running.

I'm sorry you've been through so much pain, but I'm afraid to say it's cheered me up no end!
11/02/2013 at 23:00

16/02/2013 at 17:30
What an insightful post. I wonder if I could get some advice...I am training for my first half marathon, BathHalf in 2 weeks time, and after running my longest distance of 12 miles last Sunday I felt a few twinges in the left Achilles that disappeared after a couple of hours. On the Tuesday, I ran 4 miles probably a little too fast and had really bad pain and swelling in the same spot the next day. By Thursday was feeling much better, still slightly thicker than the right and going down the stairs is not great. I have been icing regularly and doing eccentric heel drops daily (2 x sets of 20).

I haven't run since and am going to the gym tonight to get on the bike and the elliptical, my main question is, should be doing anymore running and should I run the half?

Any advice will be most appreciated...
16/02/2013 at 19:37
Bike and elliptical were fine tonight with no pain from the Achilles.
17/02/2013 at 02:09

That's good.  I was thinking the bike might not be a good idea.  Pedalling contracts the achilles quite a lot.

 

To be on the safe side to cover you for your race I'd put heel raises in your shoes e.g. Sorbothane and be prepared to revise any expected time downwards.  You wouldn't want the injury getting any worse.

 

The long term strategy is the opposite, though.  Take the heel raises out, keep the heels low all the time and do those stretches.  Come down the stairs heel first.

 

Although the left achilles that had the injury is now absolutely fine I get twinges in the right one from time to time and I have to say I get a nagging worry it might turn into tendonitis, but hasn't happened so far.

17/02/2013 at 12:53
T rex, thanks for the prompt reply. No real discomfort today after the bike and elliptical just a bit of discomfort when first walking that passes after a short while.

I have bought some heel rises today and trying them in my running shoes does make a positively marked difference in feeling.

My main concern is when to actually next run, bearing in mind that the half is on March 3rd. Should I take a full 7 days rest and run on Wednesday at a slower and easier pace? Or should I stick to the none load bearing activities at the gym?

I have only been running for a year and wasn't prepared for just how bad not being able to get out and run is making me feel and of course, really want to run the half but don't want to create something more chronic.
17/02/2013 at 18:26

In my experience AT is an injury you can - and I would suggest should - keep running with, even 'racing', but with the following safeguards:

  • slow the pace right down
  • avoid hard sessions such as speedwork
  • take great care descending hills.  Very important.  This will be your biggest danger.  And certainly no crazy fellrunning-type descending!
  • keep to an even surface
  • concentrate on a good heel to toe gait

Although you will have pain in the area you should find it will ease off after a number of miles.  If the pain becomes very sharp, acute, as if you're being pinched in that area, stop immediately.

So, no, I wouldn't rest.

The heel raises will make you foot more unstable which is why you shouldn't use them in the long term.  If you can bear to do it you might like to consider deepening the notch in the heel tab in your shoe with a knife.

 

How many runs a week do you normally do?

 

17/02/2013 at 19:37
I read your comment in an earlier post about lowering the v in the back of trainers and a friend's father who is a doctor mentioned the same thing today.

I have been running 3 times a week, Tuesday an easy run at around 40 - 50 minutes, then speed/interval on Thursdays with a long run on Sunday.

I had been aiming for a half marathon time of just over 2 hours.

Would you suggest that I wear the heel raises from now on for training?

I have also made an appointment with a sports therapist for a weeks time after a week away for work.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.
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