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Anchilles Tendinitis/heel issues - recovery time? (Read 156 times)

Blaf


    Thanks Roozi, looks like we have almost the same problem.

     

    Update from me after 2 weeks:

    2 weeks ago I started doing eccentric heel drops. Twice a day, both legs, as my both AT are effected. I do drops on the floor.

    No running during this time. Stationary bike every second day.

    I still have pinch pain. But my morning pain reduced big time. I would say that it got reduced 50-60%.

    The plan is to continue doing eccentric heel drops. In 10 days I will start with short run intervals, something like 1min run - 1min walk. Purpose of those runs is to help tendon to heel.

     

    So, I am making progress. It is slow, but still progress. Now that I can use stationary bike for tempo and interval workouts, my life is much better. I do not feel hopeless any more and it will make waiting to recover much easier.

    Age: 52

    Runner since 2012

    Marathon PB: 3:40:32

      Thanks guys. I've taken nearly 6 weeks off and had a little hope earlier this week. I knocked out a couple of miles on a treadmill after my workout on Monday but felt it the next day. Not as bad but I could feel it. Tonight I tried to run outside and got 1/10th of mile before it kicked in. Im really hoping I can recover soon.

       

      It will probably take more than 6 weeks to heal.  From what I understand, this tendon heals very very slowly.  You might try cycling to keep from going crazy, but only if it doesn't also aggravate your heel.  I did that and it helped me keep my sanity for the 2 YEARS that my tendonitis was being very active and annoying.  It still gives me trouble sometimes, but mostly I am able to run as much as I want now.  The reality is that it WILL NEVER BE THE SAME as it was.  This does not mean that I/you/others with achilles issues will not be able to run again (mostly) without pain.

       

      Other facts.  Stay away from hills, speedwork when the achilles is bothering you.  The stretching of the tendon during hills will aggravate it further as will the pushoff during speedy running.

       

      I think a conservative strategy to return to running is warranted.  Every other day alternate walking/running on a very level surface like a track.  If it bothers you more the next day then you did too much.

       

      I never found that KT tape, heel wedges while running, compression, stretching or even the eccentric exercises really helped my Haglund's deformity style tendonitis.  TIME is the only thing that seemed to work for me, alongside low intensity exercise that uses the tendon (walking, cycling (but not too long or too intense)).  Also I wear backless shoes during the day with a wedge heel and foam roll my calves regularly.

       

      Hoping these other insights might help you in some way.  Good luck with this truly horrible problem.

      "Shut up Legs!" Jens Voigt

      Ryan Root


        Back in January of 2016 I developed incredible heel/achilies pain. I took 2 weeks completely off. I spent the next 4 months building back up but my heel would not improve.

         

        I ran a half marathon in Philadelphia that September and all but limped in. I took the next 8 weeks not only completely off running, but out of shoes. I wore recovery sandals all of the time thinking my heel was just being constantly aggravated by the shoes.

         

        I started running in December 2016 and the pain was still there.. I was devastated, I had never dealt with such a painfully pesky injury.

         

        As I was driving home from Christmas that year I said to myself. Screw it. It may never get better, but I am done babying it. Worrying about the injury and trying to dance around everything made me lose passion for the sport. I resolved to go back to high mileage and work through the pain by avoiding speed work as long as I could and just get my feet and legs used to pounding out the miles again.

         

        I spent 2017 in a constant state of about 60-70% of the pain I felt in 2016. But like I said, I resolved to push through and if it was the end of my career so be it. I ran two marathons in 2017. 2:23:32 and 2:19:51.

         

        I realized that things were all about pain management and avoid running too fast, too often. I learned my limits and maximized my strengths. I kept training within what I was capable of doing. To this day I have not missed a single day of running (averaging 14.1 miles/day) for 700+ days. This is the first month in nearly 3 years where the pain is not noticeable.

         

        TL;DR Achilles is a punk. Has taken me 3 years to recover. You can still run fast.

        paulv


          My AT bothers me periodically. It tends to come and go for no apparent reason. I pretty much just run through it, but I'm not sure that the best advice. It came back with vengeance while I was training for the Marine Corp Marathon. I wasn't about to stop so I just kept training. I iced it and stretched and took advil. It just kept getting worse. I didn't do the heel-drops because that seemed to make it more angry. After 2 months, I finally tried KT Tape as a last resort. I don't know if it was the tape, the advil, the icing or just another mysterious disappearance, but it definitely got much better in about 2 weeks. Currently, it's about 95% healthy. Still get a twinge of pain here and there, but I don't limp out of bed anymore.

           

          I used the Pro. It says it will last 4-7 days, but I usually only got about 2 days of runs out of it. I found that the adhesive held better if I put the tape on the night before I went running the next morning.

            Rock Tape is the best I've used by FAR. I'll bet the Rock Tape H2O is even better. I can't even get regular KT to stick for 10 minutes most of the time, and Rock Tape stays on for a week.

            55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

            Blaf


              Hi everyone.

               

              Almost 4 weeks after my last post, I do not feel much better. I am doing eccentric heel drops, I run every second day super slow and no longer than 20 minutes. During the runs I almost do not feel any discomfort.

              Walking down the stairs in the morning is still painful. The lump on the left side looks bigger than before.

               

              I wanted to ask about this lump, does anyone know what it is? Is it just scar tissue built around the tendon, or it is just swollen tendon? Or something else? Is it a bad thing or a sign of recovery?

               

              Everything points that I have midpoint achilles tendinitis, but I am going to schedule ultrasound first week of January to confirm that.

               

              This is very frustrating, all I do these days is googling and reading about this thing... Sad

              Age: 52

              Runner since 2012

              Marathon PB: 3:40:32

                Hi everyone.

                 

                Almost 4 weeks after my last post, I do not feel much better. I am doing eccentric heel drops, I run every second day super slow and no longer than 20 minutes. During the runs I almost do not feel any discomfort.

                Walking down the stairs in the morning is still painful. The lump on the left side looks bigger than before.

                 

                I wanted to ask about this lump, does anyone know what it is? Is it just scar tissue built around the tendon, or it is just swollen tendon? Or something else? Is it a bad thing or a sign of recovery?

                 

                Everything points that I have midpoint achilles tendinitis, but I am going to schedule ultrasound first week of January to confirm that.

                 

                This is very frustrating, all I do these days is googling and reading about this thing... Sad

                 

                I've had the lump for 5 years now. Probably scar tissue, and removal SHOULD makes things better. NOT a sign of recovery, but damage. Any swelling due to inflammation would have gone away in a few weeks to a month.  In my case, I can run long and slow just fine (16M trail run yesterday), and moderate speed (12:00 3k a few weeks ago), and my achilles IS stiff in the morning.

                55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying


                Fully Cheesed

                  I'm not anywhere near your volume, but I had to take almost 8 weeks off entirely this summer to kick my Achilles issue. Eccentric drops and one other thing that seemed to help were "doubles"  of 1.5-2 miles @ 10:30-11:30 pace in the PM, sometimes  2:1 run walk. Did this by accident getting my younger daughter in shape for a PE test (20 minute run) and it seemed to help. Also slept with Strassburg sock for a couple weeks.

                   

                  I can totally relate to being in the interweb vortex. Try to limit that if you can. It's all a bit of alchemy as everyone seems to need something different. Good luck and sorry you're having to deal with this.

                  Blaf


                    Thanks guys.

                     

                    I am seeing a physio guy next week to see what he is going to say about lump and scar tissue. This is the first time I am going to see a physiotherapist.

                     

                    Noonan, that is what I am doing these days, short runs every second day and eccentric heel drops twice a day. Idea behind both is to promote tendon re-healing.

                    Age: 52

                    Runner since 2012

                    Marathon PB: 3:40:32

                      I'm interested in hearing what they have to say. My self diagnosis by reading stuff for a few years says that I should have the scar tissue/bad tissue removed, and there is no other way to go back to "normal". I'm looking at TENEX out of all the options for surgical intervention.

                      55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

                      Blaf


                         

                        Ok, I met a physiotherapist 2 days ago.

                        Very experienced guy. I explained the problem and he had a look.

                        He told me to continue with eccentric heel drops daily and slow runs every second day. The same as my chiropractor told me. He thinks that there is no need for shockwave therapy at this point (although he is one of the only couple places in town that provide that service). His explanation is that I would not benefit as I am not in that much pain and I passed the acute phase. There is no inflammation anymore. He suggested to do the following every day: laser, ultrasound and electrical stimulation therapy. I have been doing that for 3 days now. Takes 30 minutes for all 3 things.

                         

                        So where I am at this point?

                        I run every second day. I started with 5x2min a month ago, and now I am at 30 minutes continues running. During my runs I almost do not have any pain. Just some tingling here and there. But I run slow, like a 60 seconds slower than my easy pace. I feel some light pain in the calves after the run, but it is gone next day.

                        Morning pain is less and less.

                        I still have pain when I pinch both tendons in midpoint, but even that feels better.

                        Scar tissue or swelling (whatever it is around the tendon where it hurts when I pinch) is getting smaller.

                        So, in general I am improving. But I feel that it will take at least another month to be able to go back to my standard easy pace.

                         

                        Next week I am going to see my family doctor to ask him to send me for ultrasound. Both guys, chiropractor and physiotherapist suggested that, so I know exactly what the issue is.

                        Age: 52

                        Runner since 2012

                        Marathon PB: 3:40:32

                        westletluv


                          Don't forget to rest when your body tells you to do so... I used to push my body to the point of exhaustion. This way, my heel started to hurt in a way I can't describe. I felt it when I was running for a marathon. At first, I didn't think it'd be something significant, but it turned out to be worse than I thought. At some point, I couldn't walk anymore, so I stopped and started taking care of myself. I can tell you it can take some time in which you have to apply lots of ice and rest! Definitely REST. In 2-3 weeks you should be good as new. Also, the sports tape will be your best friend after that.

                            I don't know if anyone posted this on this thread, but I found this very informational:

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZpXUWA-v_M

                             

                            Doctors of Run at PT guys and runners. Some quality info and discussion here. Worth the longer watch.

                            Jogger bobby


                              Long time sufferer of AT. Like decades.

                               

                              Rule number one, rest. Let it heal. Not easy runs. Stop running.

                               

                              Rule number two, Alfredson protocol. Google it or You Tube it. 2-4 times every day. Start by not letting your foot past horizontal. Only after it gets better start dropping all the way for a full stretch.

                               

                              No big heel drops on your footwear.

                               

                              Avoid hills.

                               

                              Ice and elevation and NSAIDS after exertion.

                               

                              With regular AP I rarely get a flareup and it lasts a day at most.

                              Born: 1973

                              Marathon PR: 3:44 (2000)

                              5k PR: 22:11 (2020)

                               

                              Goals:

                              5k - 21:42

                              Mile - 6:30

                              400m - 1:10

                                Recent studies and findings:

                                Ice and NSAIDS reduce inflammation, and your body uses inflammation to heal itself. You WANT inflammation; to an extent, at least at the locus of the injury. General inflammation is bad, and should be sent to jail. One of the functions of inflammation is to stabilize by reducing range of motion, the other more important function is to increase blood flow to the area. NSAIDS are said to increase healing time by putting the body's healing functions on "hold". So, don't use NSAIDS as part of a recovery program. Go ahead and use them to mask pain and be able to keep going and finish an ultra, but be prepared to pay back that loan with longer recovery time.

                                 

                                So, since I last posted on the this thread, I have swapped a bad Right achilles for a bad Left achilles. No medical intervention/therapy. The Right eventually healed itself after 5-6 years, no more pain and no more bulge. However, the Left started up about 2-3+ years ago (lost track of time cuz of time references not existing anymore,,,). Limping next day(s) after fast workouts, big old bulge, etc. I had to take almost a month off last Spring, and several one-week time offs during the last two years.

                                 

                                I currently have things under control by avoiding any fast paced workouts, and not exceeding one minute at a time for what would be a 3k race pace. Rolling on a wooden rolling pin when I remember to do it, and in the last few months finally got a percussive massager, which "seems" to help reduce next-morning stiffness and discomfort in the achilles (I use it for 5 minutes on each calf and directly on the achilles, which hurts like crazy the first few seconds).

                                 

                                I need to consistently do heel drops, but I'm forgetful and/or lazy.

                                55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

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