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Chronic Achilles tendonitis help?

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  • Chronic Achilles tendonitis help?

    Hi all,

    I've been having issues for almost a year now with my Achilles tendon. The tendon is now always swollen almost hard at the insertion point, and the medial side of the tendon is tender to the touch in a dime-sized spot only.
    I now can only run on grass (barefoot of course) and the pain is considerably worse when jogging than when sprinting. I find that holding a dorsiflexed position as much as possible helps to minimize the pain, but might not be the best running form. I am still able to lift weights without pain, but running and jumping give me a twinge. In response to the tendonitis, I recently started an intense posterior chain stretching routine and am working on strengthening my shins.

    I went to a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon recently to see what they had to say. Their treatment options? Complete immobilization for 6 weeks, or wear Brooks/New Balance shoes with a narrow toe box and heel lift, complete with orthotics.

    Are there any treatment options that are more progressive or better suited for barefoot athletes? Could this be mitigated with ankle strength exercises? Specific stretches? I'm really at a loss for what to do next, I'm very disappointed in the medical advice I've received up to this point. I'm 24, male, otherwise very healthy. Thank you for your help in advance!

  • #2
    Well I'm a chiropractor, and I might suggest giving a chiropractor or physical therapist a shot. Don't really know enough right here, but I would look for one that also uses either Graston or A.R.T (Active Release Technique). Both are soft tissue techniques that might be able to help your case. I would avoid the 6 week immobilization deal at all costs. I mean that has to be a very last resort. Joint structures begin breaking down after even short time frames of immobility, and while sometimes it's necessary (post surgical).... I would do my best to look into alternatives in your case. At the very least I would require an MRI before moving on to such a treatment option.


    • #3
      Put your running/walking shoes back on. Barefoot isn't for everyone. Since I rejected barefoot, my walks have increased in both duration and distance. I thought I was just healing slowly from last year's injury because I'm getting older. Put my walking shoes back on and all pain and tiredness is gone.
      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


      • #4
        Get your vitamin D3 levels checked (in addition to continuing all the other stuff, of course). The tendonitis I had in my hands and Achilles tendons was almost completely resolved when I corrected my vitamin D3 deficiency.
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )


        • #5
          Using the tendon is probably best, along with proper nutrition to rebuild it.

          On the bright side, you can actually dorsiflex your foot at all. I am a toewalker, and cannot. My shin muscles, due to lack of use, are basically not even there.