Achilles

Recovery and healing

15 messages
08/09/2013 at 19:18

Hi people .has anyone got any good advice on healing a stained Achilles I've had this pain for a week now and really want to keep up my training. 

08/09/2013 at 19:48

Cheers flob. Not to good at resting but think I'll have to learn. Just wanna keep getting them miles in but suppose it's just one of those things. 

08/09/2013 at 19:58

Hi Mitchell2, I have suffered with achilles tendonitis, its very common and very painful. My physio told me to slash my mileage in half for a couple of weeks and do some stretches on it daily and after each run. 

These will help, the rolling pin is torture but really gets in there!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpUvOqadb5s

08/09/2013 at 19:59

By the way, I followed the physiod advice but soon bumped my mileage up to where I was before and although i still get the odd niggle from the achilles I manage it with relative ease now.

09/09/2013 at 15:51

Hi Mitchell2- I got it in my left achilles 10 days before VLM this year  and  did not do it due to the pain. Since then its been a slow process of recovery and set back. I think I went wrong in the first few days byoverstretching it-eccentric heel drops on stairs -causing further damage. With the benefit of hindsight I should have rested longer, avoided overstretching and used ibuprofen over a longer period to get rid of the initial inflammation and then I would have gradually returned to running avoiding racing for a while whilst at the same time doing regular heel drop eccentric stretching with the shortfall in training met by cycling and swimming. I managed a half marathon yestrday and the damaged achilles was fine but the other one is now playing up probably from overcompensating for the other. Maybe try and get a physios input if it doesnt go in a couple of weeks.Good luck

11/09/2013 at 14:10

The Achilles has poor blood supply, therefore DON'T rest it. Try and keep some kind of maintenance running / exercise programme. 'The Achilles hates rest' - this was told to me by a professor of biomechanics. I'm not advocating running your usual mileage. I'm not even advocating running on it. But be assured that the best way to heal it, along with a correct eccentric stretch / strength routine, is to keep it active. Walking, cross-training machine - whatever. Google it - the AT's poor blood supply means it needs gentle exercise.

 

Secondly, DON'T take Ibuprofen for more than a day or two. Research suggests it weakens tendons in the long run. Inflammation is the body's natural response. By suppressing it with Ibuprofen you're preventing it from reinforcing fibres during the healing process.

 

Google this stuff - I'm not making it up. Good luck.

 

BTW - I find avoiding uneven surfaces is best for my AT. Try a few days / weeks on the treadmill and see what that does. The worst thing for me is hard, uneven surfaces.

11/09/2013 at 14:49

Is It Safe-There are so many different opinions on this-even amongst the supposed experts- I agree (from experience) about keeping active with the achilles and that it should be easy though my experience suggests limiting total rest to the first few days/week to let the worst of the inflammation subside. I  was also of the same view about ibuprofen but a sports physio advised me that in the early days -first week or two -they encourage blood flow and healing to the damaged area -no idea if thats right. As regards using the treadmill ,I was told not to by a specialist as it tends to concentrate the impact of each step into the same place aggravating the tendon further. Im with you on avoiding hard surfaces and  avoiding downhill and fast running Beach running is good for me-pity I cant have more holidays!.

My left achilles has just about fixed after 6 months but my right has now kicked off. Im getting an ache/pain on the  lower inside part of the back of my  heel not actually in the achilles.Referred pain? Whats this all about? Any ideas?

11/09/2013 at 17:31

Regardless, the advice you receive here will be *very* broad. e.g. there are different types of Achilles issues, i.e. whether it's the sheeth (paratendon) or tendon itself; whether it's 'tendonitis' or 'tendonosis'. So...best get an ultrasound if you really want to know what's going on. A decent physio should have a scanner and shouldn't charge too much.

28/09/2013 at 09:42

Thanks for all the advice everyone I've taken to swimming to stay fit and try to keep it loose and doing light stretches on it .it seems to be improving .still hurts when I run so I'm avoid to much of it but fingers crossed I'll be back to my old self soon. Thank again 

29/09/2013 at 22:06

My right achilles has been sore for six weeks now, any running just causes it to seize up for a couple of days. I find Voltarol helps a lot, also I elevate and ice my achilles every evening. I've stopped running now, just cycling to stay fit enough for the Chester marathon this coming Sunday. Hopefully it won't hurt too much !!

29/09/2013 at 23:50

Al A - I had a period 15 of months with achilles tendonitis and happily have now overcome it. I have got reasonable knowledge about that injury and if you suspect that's what you've got I would be extremely cautious indeed about running a marathon with the symptoms as severe as you're describing them.  At the very least you should revise any time targets you have got.  The last thing you want to do is to rupture or partially rupture the tendon.

Is the tendon puffy and swollen?  Are you unable to balance on tiptoe on your right foot?  Does the pain start off dull but then become very sharp and acute if you try to run on it?  If any of the answers are yes, I would save your expenses from travelling to Chester, I'm afraid, and target a marathon in 2014.

Ice may help reduce any swelling - I found the best method was to immerse the whole foot and ankle into a bowl of iced water.  On the whole you're better off keeping the tendon warm and constantly stretching it (calf stretches).  You should avoid resting it, e.g. long periods of sitting, and avoid actions that contract the tendon, e.g. running downhill, or pressing down through the balls of the feet generally. 

I won't go on at great length - I did this about a year ago in a whole thread I devoted to AT.  I'll try to find it and perhaps revise and shorten it, and repost it for any interested people.

03/10/2013 at 16:18

Hi T Rex,

I've found your thread on AT and read every post, very informative stuff from yourself and everyone else who contributed.

My Achilles hasn't swelled up at all, at its worst it's been very tender and stiff after a run, causing me to limp when walking. I recall having very tight hamstrings over the summer, possibly caused by moving house twice and doing all the lifting and carrying myself, while wearing sandals. When I first had the injury I had a fitness test at work just two days later which involved a bleep test (lots of sprinting). This was quite painful but I managed it okay.

I've self-diagnosed tendinitis and tried different remedies - stretches help, icing helps, elasticated supports don't help, oddly enough neither did sorbathane inserts, they were excruciating to run or even walk in. I've found the best therapy has been to do something else for fitness - cycling is great, so is the rowing machine and elliptical walker. I'm fifty yrs young and I remember the craze for trainers with high backs on them some years ago and the plague of injuries that came with them, so I've always been quite wary of shoe issues. My Asics gel-kayanos seem quite well-designed inmho, I have been wearing hiking boots at work a lot recently, perhaps they've been the cause? I'll probably never find out what's hurt me which is a shame because I'd really like to avoid doing it again.

My marathon route doesn't seem to have any steep downhill sections and as luck would have it, the race goes up my street and past my own front door at mile 23, so if the worst comes to the very worst..........

07/10/2013 at 00:42

Better have the report then!!  Bit worried for you ...

08/10/2013 at 22:11

The first six miles were fine but then it started hurting properly. I thought about quitting, but I really wanted to finish so I more or less hopped the next twenty miles - I'd say my pain levels were similar to childbirth, having witnessed that process four times so far........

Oddly enough it doesn't seem any worse now, hard to say what effect it's having on my gait as my left quadricep is still on fire, but there's no swelling or any extra tenderness in my right achilles.

I think I will stick to cycling for the next few weeks before I attempt a short run to check on my progress. This really is a pain in the arse type of injury.

08/10/2013 at 22:19

Courageous.  I wouldn't do anything anywhere near as intense as that for a while.

Some of my deep tissue massages for AT have been up there at 10/10 on the pain scale but then I am male and know nothing!!


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