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Thread: Anyone Here Battling Achilles Tendonitis? page

  1. #1
    mark2741's Avatar
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    Anyone Here Battling Achilles Tendonitis?

    About 2.5 weeks ago I went to the gym and hit it harder than usual, including some jogging on the treadmill. I almost NEVER jog/run on the treadmill but that day I did and my NB Minimus shoes weren't a good idea for that, as I've got a bad stride/heel strike and before I knew it my right heel was hurting some. I kept with it and about 7 minutes into the jog the pain was worse so I stopped.

    2 weeks later and the heel still hurt, with no real improvement. Went to a foot/ankle specialist and got x-rayed and he diagnosed me with achilles tendonitis. He said I need to stretch before exercise (especially the calf), and ice the achilles after.

    The last few days it's been much improved. I play in a men's over 35yoa turf soccer league and was able to play this past Thursday. I have no match for the next 2 weeks so I'm going to stick to just weightlifting and some light walking on the treadmill (it's too cold to walk outside) or perhaps exercise bike?

    The doctor said that this thing will "take weeks" to heal, and even then it could get worse or come back at any time. He said the next step, if it gets worse, is to do physical therapy.

    I didn't exercise/do much of anything for 2 weeks and it didn't get any better. Once I started actively/forcefully stretching it I saw some rapid improvement within a few days. But I would have hoped by now, almost 3 weeks later, that it would be fully healed yet it's not.

    I'm 41yoa. Went low-carb primal about 2.5 years ago and dropped ~75lbs in a year and have pretty effortlessly maintained that loss while also building some lean muscle, mostly because I now truly enjoy working out (I typically don't over do-it though, believe me!) and being active now in my 40's, after being sedentary and obese since age 9. My attitude, starting yesterday, is to "play through" the achilles because doing nothing didn't help at all.

    Anyone else deal with this? Any advice or experience with this that you can share is appreciated. When I asked the specialist (I happen to live less than a 1 minute drive from a world-renowned orthopedic/sports medicine specialist center) he just stressed to me to stretch well before, and ice after. So that's what I plan on doing.

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    lyn c nito's Avatar
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    Fortunately, I haven't had this but family members have. They've had good success rolling the arch of their foot on a tennis or lacrosse ball. It seemed to resolve the issue quickly and most of them still do it daily to prevent recurrence. They also use a foam roller for whole body rolling, including the calves. The tennis ball seems to be the key, though.

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    mark2741's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Still struggling with this. Went to see an ortho doctor last week and he said to wait it out and if it doesn't get better then he would prescribe physical therapy. It's been a week and it's not much better, so I'm going to call and try to get the PT started sooner rather than later.

    Quote Originally Posted by lyn c nito View Post
    Fortunately, I haven't had this but family members have. They've had good success rolling the arch of their foot on a tennis or lacrosse ball. It seemed to resolve the issue quickly and most of them still do it daily to prevent recurrence. They also use a foam roller for whole body rolling, including the calves. The tennis ball seems to be the key, though.

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    For my recent case of achilles tendonitis I've been stretching, but only after exercising, and doing eccentric calf raises. I stand on a stair and lower myself very slowly down as far as I can (without shifting my toes or forefoot), then raise myself up onto my toes (or ball of the foot, depending on foot strength). This stretches the tendon and strengthens it along with your feet and calves. I took it slow, starting with only 10 at a time, twice a day, and after two weeks my achilles are both feeling much better. This idea was passed on by a fellow barefoot runner, not a doctor, so (obviously) your mileage may vary.
    Eccentric Calf Raises - YouTube

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    mark2741's Avatar
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    After ~3 weeks of the achilles not getting better, I called the ortho specialist's office and asked them if I should go ahead and try the next step, physical therapy.

    Right after I said to myself, "screw it. I'm gonna try the eccentric calf raises." I did maybe 5 reps, then an hour or so later did 10 reps. I noticed that the pain in my achilles, which was anywhere from very sharp/painful (about 15% of the time), to sore (about 60% of the time), to no pain/very little soreness the remainder of the time, changed to a non-sharp, constant very dull pain. A different kind of pain - more an inflamed soreness feeling. Hard to describe, but I must say, I was encouraged as it was better than the often sharp pain.

    This morning I woke up and noticed that the usual very sore/very stiff achilles was not as sore or as stiff as it's been every morning for the past 3 weeks. I was able to loosen it up much quicker than usual. This morning I did a set of 10 eccentric calf raises, then I did a few here or there during breaks (I was in a training class at work all day). At no time has the sharp pain come back!!! I still have the slight dull pain but I can tell it's decreasing as the day went on.

    Just got home and did another set of 5 reps and will just continue to do some every once in a while. I realize I'm probably getting ahead of myself and should be more cautious but I can't say how thrilled I am at such rapid progress - I was sincerely worried that my ability to 'play'/fitness would be screwed due to this achilles. But now I'm pretty confident that this simple eccentric calf raise exercise will do the trick.

    I did get a call back from the ortho doctor's office today saying they put a prescription for physical therapy in the mail today and that I should get it early next week and can choose a physical therapist to begin working with them. Even if the achilles is healed/the soreness is gone I may go just to see what they say so I can avoid this from happening in the future.

    Thanks again for your advice!

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