I have increased my running recently up to 30+ miles per week. I have been coping well with the increase and have seen my weight drop off and my pace improve. However, I have been having some problems with my left achilles tendon and been experiencing a dull ache. I have found that I have been able to run through it and the ache goes away. On Sunday I did my first 15 mile run and since then have had a lot of pain. It went off a bit later in the week and I ran 13 miles on Thursday (I shouldn't have but was on holiday and really wanted to run along the coast - not on the sand I should say). Now I can feel it creaking and it feels quite weak.
There is no swelling.
It doesn't particularly hurt, just feels uncomfortable.
I can't really run on it (today). The ache makes me feel a bit sick (but it doesn't really hurt - I can't really explain it).
I know I am going to have to go the physio and will try and sort something out for next week but was wondering if anybody else had anything like this and what they did to make it better.
I should add that I wear custom orthotics to sort out my over-pronating and that I have recently changed my running shoes to some Saucony Paramounts (which have cured my shin splints but seem to have led to this). I'm hoping it will just need some adjustments made to my orthotic. I do not particularly want to wear a more supportive shoe as my shins complain - these are the only shoes I have tried that are good for my shins (and I have probably tried most).
I have a couple of races lined up - Newcastle 7 on the 19th April (anticipating having to pull out of this but don'twant to - will take it slow if I can) and Tewkesbury half marathon in May (was going for a PB here but concerned about recovery time).
Any advice, guidance or words of wisdom appreciated.
WeV, I'd be interested in any answers too because I seem to have the same dull ache on my right achiles. I too have been increasing my mileage,in fact there seem to be striking similarities.
1) I've increased my mileage to 30 per week
2) Yesterday I went on my longest run to date 10.6 hilly miles (I'd also run 6.4 miles on consecutive days earlier in the week)
3) I too am losing weight, but am stiil well above (13kg) ideal racing weight
4) I haven't had any running style problems so I only need to wear cushioned running shoes, but I did sprain my right ankle badly at the beginning of the year and it's still not 100%. This could have led to a temporary change to my running style.
In my case the ache is at its worst the day after the run and is worse in the morning and eases off a bit during the day (only slightly aware of it during my run).
I'm treating the ache as a warning and reducing my mileage next week. I won't run today and the rest of the week I'll play by ear. Also I'll reluctantly stick to the flat. I'd strongly advise against racing unless you're sure it's cleared up....or at the very least you have more experience with the injury and know its limits.
I'm also treating it as a reminder to do post run stretching exercises (the ones we know we should but hardly ever do!)
Bloody Achilles tendon problems they account for 10% of all running injuries, amateur and professional runners experience it and 95% of all people experience problems with it at least once in their life. The fact that it’s a generally widespread problem makes it sound very comforting doesn’t it; however be very very cautious. I do not class myself as an avid runner; however I do run as part of my training scheme in my line of fitness. I stumbled across this post in doing research for this problem as I am currently experiencing this problem for the first time also. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow so I’ll be able see exactly what’s happening. But as far as research goes; I believe I have Achilles tendonitis which is common in a lot of long distance runners. The symptoms are as follows:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Pain on the tendon during exercise. Achilles pain will gradually come on with prolonged exercise but will go away with rest.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Swelling over the Achilles tendon.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Redness over the skin.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->You can sometimes feel a creaking when you press your fingers into the tendon and move the foot.
I understand from what you both have posted, that this pain most probably has come along relatively dramatically, but you haven’t felt a sudden pop, or felt like you have been kicked or shot in the back of the heel. Given that you haven’t felt this means that you haven’t ruptured or completely split your tendon, which is a good thing. HOWEVER!!!!! It is very possible that all three of us may have caused many tiny rips in our tendons due to the over stress. Now, Achilles tendonitis is a degenerative condition, by that I mean that through age, these tiny rips and scars can become worse, gradually bringing on more pain until it is unbearable to walk.
(Continued on next post)
As you guys may know, when the body is injured it goes into an immediate state of repair. Unfortunately because all our tendons have very limited blood flow, repair is extremely slow, this is why you need to take extra caution. Putting it through too much stress to quickly could leave you in crutches or a wheelchair for the rest of your life. I have read many accounts on the web over this past week of people who have even continued to walk on the discomfort and have ended up with lifelong problems with a; “I wish I could turn back the hands of time” statement. As far as rest goes you’re looking at between 1.5-4 weeks for an average case. Currently I am applying the R.I.C.E (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) technique to this and it seems to be ok-ish. Also a good idea is to stretch your calf muscles (and only your calf muscles, not your tendon as much) in order to put less pulling strain on the tendon itself. Ortho custom insoles are also a good thing, so keep using them. Also take ibuprofen, this will help to counteract the swelling and inflammation. The creaking is a product of the inflammation, because the tendon is swollen, it is rubbing against its outer sheath.
I hope I haven’t scared you guys but this is not the best of injuries to have. Consult your doctor ASAP, just in case something really bad happens.
Hope this helps,
Take it easy!!!
Video (you will see a few other videos in this page):
Thanks Richard. I will take a look at the links shortly. I was thinking of going to the doctor but I don't think any of the doctors at my surgery know much about sports injuries. I have a n appointment with my podiatrist on Tuesday and will see what he says. I was also thinking perhaps I need to see a sports physio to get a diagnosis.
I'm feeling pretty glum today as I should have ran the Newcastle 7. I went to watch instead and really wished I was doing it. Half marathon in 3 weeks and concerned I wont be doing it...............
In my case a couple of days rest and it seems to have cleared it up. I've had a long runs since without any problems. In fact my symtoms didn't really tie in with those decribed by RB.
1) Ache was worse the day after, no real problem during.
2) No swelling over achiles
3) No redness
4) no creaking
Perhaps it wasn't an achiles issue with me, but if you have these symptoms WeV I think you do have cause for concern. At the very least I don't think you should run if you can feel any discomfort whilst walking. Hope you can find a GP that's knowlegeable about sports injuries - but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
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