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!