Achilles tendinopathy/tendonitis - advice please?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Old_Reprobate, Dec 11, 2008.

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  1. Just read Pacifist-Jihadist's query about his ankle trouble, offered some heartfelt advice and suddenly realised maybe I'm in the right place to receive it rather than give it.

    Unlike a lot of fellas I served with, FOGB-bergan tabbing for most of the 1980s didn't kill my back. It nailed my ankles instead.

    I ignored it for far too long (idiot) then went through doctors and consultants a couple of years ago. I don't really think they have the answer.

    Symptoms: Achilles tendons - stiffness and acute pain. Stiffening very quickly with immobility of even a few minutes. Becomes nasty for prolonged periods if I try to run. At any time, excruciatingly painful to pinch the tendon.

    Diagnoses: Tendonitis at first; then tendinopathy, for which I had a minor op to clear out the right tendon. It hasn't lasted. I'm hobbling on both now.

    I feel a bit guilty asking for help considering many of you are still serving and facing far worse horrors — I was visiting Headley two months ago and won't forget for a long while — but if anyone has a bright idea or two, you might do the old reprobate a real favour. Here's hoping. Anything works, I'll double up my HFH contribution with a smile on my face and give my guardian angel a MiD.
  2. I had tendonitis of both my achilles tendons caused by a change in boot design. Physio terrorist gave me an excerciseto do, Stand up and raise your heels off the floor and lower slowly back down.

    I also got myself one of those bioflow magnet things. It works for me although I still have bad days I am not hobbling around like a 90 year old like I used to. Not saying it will work for you but if it doesn't they do give you a ninety day period to take it back for a refund.

    Hope it helps. PM me if you require anymore details

  3. I'm going through physio at the moment for this, pulled it about 3 weeks ago and is giving me jip. I'm getting ultra-sound on it and my physio gave me exercises to do, one of which is to balance on the stairs with the majority of my foot hanging free then raise and lower 10 times and do 3 sets then lower down on the heel to stretch it off.
    She said that my running mileage didn't help (approx 1500 a year) but I'm sure there's people that do more. Supposed to be doing next years London but I'll have to see about that!
  4. I ignored chronic achilles tendonitis until it got to the stage I couldn't get my heels on the ground in the morning. This is the stage before rupture, at which point you are fecked.

    The blood flow is so poor that it takes ages for healing. Brian Laudrup was told that occasional games would be ok, but he would never be absolutely right and would have to jack in the game.

    I would avoid injections like the plague - loads of footballers and athletes have had a "miracle" injection before a total rupture.

    One thing which is really tricky to judge is whether cramping up at the back of the calf after a good lay off is actually the achilles or the calf itself not being able to cope with the eccentric contraction when your foot hits the ground and the calf has to lengthen.

    Bikes, steppers and (surprisingly) speedmarching on the treadmill allows me to bust my heart and lungs with hitting the achilles.

    I would be really, really cautious about putting any real pressure on a damaged tendon until it has had months of repair.
  5. I suffer from this and have done for some time, mine was caused by horse riding. I have found that really working to lengthen my calves has helped a lot in taking the strain off my Achilles, which is scarred, tight and thickened. All of the exercises that have been mentioned will really help. There some sloping blocks in my gym, which are good to stand on to help with the stretch, if you stand on them for 15 minutes every day it should help. Another good exercise is to stand facing the wall with your toe a few centimetres away from the wall, then with one leg behind the other try to touch your knee to the wall, all the time keeping your hips level and your body upright, don’t push your pain too far. Also it might help you measure progress if you put a tape measure at a right angle to the wall so you can measure how far you can stretch. I gained 4cm in 3 weeks which doesn’t sound much, but it is.
  6. I once carried on tabbing through achilles pain. Result at the end: couldn't walk anywhere and one ruptured achilles. 3 weeks on crutches and some TLC later.... it recovered!
    Plenty of rest and ice mixed with rest and warmth (to get blood flowing to the area to help with the healing). Do you stretch regularly? Tendon's although a lot less flexible than muscles do benefit from regular stretching - great one for achilles is to stand on a step on the balls of you feet and drop your heels over the back.

    How high up is the pain? If it's right in the heel/insertion you could also be looking at plantar faciitis (sp).
  7. The advice is really appreciated. I think I haven't given the stretching options as much credence as I should.

    The pain is definitely in the tendons rather than where they connect to the heel (re the fasciitis question). Thickening and scarring seems to be about right.

    I forgot to mention that I also have varicose veins in the calves (no pain or cramp, had 'em for years — didn't even know until someone else pointed them out!) and have recently wondered whether their effect on circulation might be a contributory factor.

    Once again — thanks to those who've contributed. This kind of thing really gets you down after a time: I feel actual green envy seeing someone enjoying a good run ... until I think about some poor sod who stepped on a mine, which will put it perspective and shut up my whining for a while.

    Cheers fellas.
  8. Good job it's not PF :)

    Lots of rest and mix hot water bottles and ice packs. Helps heeling remarkably well....

    Stretching is so important and is often over looked; I for one am very bad at not stretching after a run tsch :oops: