The ESTW is not a quick fix, and certainly not a last resort. It is possible that surgery could be the only solution, but still with no guarantees. A guy at our club had surgery for AT many years ago, and that sorted out his problem. The downside was the recovery period can be 12 to 18 months. The same guy later had ESTW on his other achilles and that too was a sucess, but he returned to running alot quicker.
I would agree with you PR you need to asertain the cause of an injury, and then take corrective action to try to minimise re occurances. Unfortunately it doesnt allways work that way, and injury is part and parcel of a runners life. It happens to the professionals and they are surrounded by physios, podiatrists, dieticians, doctors and all manner of medical types.
Intersting that you say your GP would't refer you. What would your answer have been if he had said yes ?
I found that this treatment was like being prodded quite forceably !! Not painful but uncomfortable.I would say that after the second treatment there was a slight improvement. After the third I was referred to a physio at the hospital. My initial consultation was on Wednesday and we went through all the normal checks. He identified tightness in both calves which restrict my range of movement, and on doing heel raises I dont lift as much as I should do, so for the last three days I have been doing stretching and strenghtening exercises every three to four hours. Prior to the ESTW I had been doing heel raises whilst holding a 5kg weight. Physio said that the weight was nowhere near enough to have any effect and I should have been loading it with 30/40 kg !! Yesterday my AT was sore again, but I put that down to the exercises.
According to this physio and the medical profession, some patients have reported success with ESTW, but the sample is not big enough to be conclusive, so its still a bit of a gamble. If you are like me i'll try anything which offers a hope of getting back to running. I suppose the proof will be in 8 - 10 weeks time when I can hopefully put on my trusty Asics 2160's and get out on the road ! Good luck and I hope its a success for you. Keep me updated.
Last October I suffered an injury to my left Achilles. To cut a long story short after six months of weekly physio, periodsof rest, icing after every run, heel drops twice a day etc etc....It wasn’t improving. There were times when it was difficult to walk on.
A few weeks ago I got to the point where I’d had enough. I ran one Saturday morning and it hurt over the last half mile or so. I was at the point where I wanted to push myself so hard that I actually damaged it big time so I would HAVE to stop running altogether. No more frustration of being able to run for a few weeks and then having to take more time out.
A week later I saw my doctor. I knew that if I gave him the chance he would say rest and anti inflamatories would sort it out, so I went in, told him about the last six months and I wanted to be referred to a specialist. He agreed !!
Apparently, I have “acute non insertional achilles tendonitis”, which is common in older runners who have been running for a number of years. (I’m 55 and have been running for over 30 years).
This Friday I start ESWT. This entails three sessions a week apart. During the rehab I will be given strengthening exercises to do. Walking is OK but NO running for at least three months after the last session. The consultant says the success rate is 75%. A couple of years ago surgery would probably have been recommended, followed by 12 -18 months recovery, so shock wave therapy is certainly the way to go.
I’ll post updates here which I hope will help others who are considering this type of treatment.