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achilles tendonitis (Read 1905 times)

jwowen218


    I seem to have a case of achilles tendonitis that morphed out of a healing case of plantar fasciitis. This is incredibly frustrating. Just when I was starting to overcome PF (with 5+ weeks off from running), my achilles is giving me major through upon re-entry into running. Surprisingly, very little discomfort from the PF. Anyway, I posted about my PF woes on here and got some great advice. Perhaps some people have helpful achilles tendonitis advice, too. Seems there is some major mechanical issues with that foot/ankle and I'm hoping orthodics (which I was fitted for today) will help. Maybe PT, too?


    A Dance with Monkeys

      Lots of advice across lots of prior threads...click

        I seem to have a case of achilles tendonitis that morphed out of a healing case of plantar fasciitis. This is incredibly frustrating. Just when I was starting to overcome PF (with 5+ weeks off from running), my achilles is giving me major through upon re-entry into running. Surprisingly, very little discomfort from the PF. Anyway, I posted about my PF woes on here and got some great advice. Perhaps some people have helpful achilles tendonitis advice, too. Seems there is some major mechanical issues with that foot/ankle and I'm hoping orthodics (which I was fitted for today) will help. Maybe PT, too?

         

        Sorry to hear about your seemingly continuous set-backs.  Know one thing, though; EVERYBODY goes through some set-backs.  As frustrating as it is, it ALWAYS comes to an end and you'll be running freely in no time. 

         

        I took a peek at your log and, naturally due to the issue you've been having, you took lots of off-days.  One thing you'd have to be careful about is to differenciate "injury" and "growing pain".  When you get a soreness, get out and start running anyway and see if the pain gets worse as you continue; or it eases somewhat as your body warms up.  If the latter is the case, I would strongly suggest you DO SOMETHING.  Brisk walking, very easy jogging, pool running, stationary bike, jump rope...  Anything is better than not doing anything.  In most cases, these exercises would increase the blood flow to the sore area and enhanse healing process. 

         

        In regards to Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, I have a bit different view than most people (though the number is probably increasing...).  These are more or less classified as "American shoe diseases" and caused mainly by thick rigid inflexible shoes.  I myself was heading that direction in the 1990s when I developed a nasty case of Achilles tendonitis that stayed with me for more than 5 years!!  What really helped was to switched to low-heel flexible shoes and run on uneven softer ground.  At first, I went to the direction of inserting extra cushion under the heel (heel part under the insole) and that seemed to ease the pain but it was only tempolary.  Now I always run in ASICS Piranha, HyperSpeed or Tarther--I just can't go any thicker--but COMPLETELY pain free.  That and eccentric heel raiser (actually, the part that's eccentric is dropping but, oh, well...). 

         

        I would not lable you whether or not you have a mechnical issue before I even see you run but, from my experience, people who'd have injury problems due to mechnical issue are MUCH less than most people think.  Human body is quite amazing in that repsect; if you look at the slow motion clip of feel and legs when running, you just wanna hide your eyes; it's quite scary to see how it's all twisted around and stretched out.  But that's what they are supposed to do; that's why we have Achilles tendon and arch to alleviate the awckwardness of bi-pod running action; that's what they are meant to do.  And that means to strengthen the FUNCTION of your feet and legs; not to keep supporting them.  Orthotics, in my opinion, is the exact opposite way to go about.  Yes, there ARE some people whose feet and legs are so degenerated or structurally screwed up that they might need something to correct them.  But for most of us, it's more of a cause than solution.


        Spring- wishful thinking

          +1 to what nobby said about too many rest days.  I've been guilty of this recently, but I've generally found rest is overated and the injury you had before rest comes back within a few days of resuming training.  If you push on while working to find a solution, it often goes away faster.

           

          I can't believe no one has mentioned this yet, but stretching calves and foam rollers help immensely.  Now that I have a foam roller, I can really tell the difference when calves are getting really tight. 


          Fat butt on couch

             These are more or less classified as "American shoe diseases" and caused mainly by thick rigid inflexible shoes.  I myself was heading that direction in the 1990s when I developed a nasty case of Achilles tendonitis that stayed with me for more than 5 years!!  What really helped was to switched to low-heel flexible shoes and run on uneven softer ground.  At first, I went to the direction of inserting extra cushion under the heel (heel part under the insole) and that seemed to ease the pain but it was only tempolary.  Now I always run in ASICS Piranha, HyperSpeed or Tarther--I just can't go any thicker--but COMPLETELY pain free.  That and eccentric heel raiser (actually, the part that's eccentric is dropping but, oh, well...). 

             

            It's a bit early to know for sure but my experience may be mirroring this.  I always prided myself on injury resistence but in December when I did my second consecutive 90-mile week I got killer PF in my left foot.  By mid-January it was downright debilitating.  I have to wear dress-like shoes for work and my slip-ons were clearly aggravating the issue, so I got some extremely cushioned--and rigid-soled-- dress shoes.  This helped the pain subside to the place I could continue training again (until I got mono but that was another issue).

             

            Despite time off and low mileage the problem has continued, and I realized it was worst when I was wearing those dress shoes.  I decided perhaps what had been necessary for the acute pain had, in the long term, kept the problem from healing.  So I got a pair of Merrell Gloves and have been wearing them nearly a week now.  They REALLY seem to help, my feet NEVER hurt at work anymore.  It will be a few weeks before I know for sure though.

             

            I would never run in shoes like this...running in flats have always made it worse.  But I'm becoming convinced that wearing them whenever I am NOT running is a good thing.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

              It's a bit early to know for sure but my experience may be mirroring this.  I always prided myself on injury resistence but in December when I did my second consecutive 90-mile week I got killer PF in my left foot.  By mid-January it was downright debilitating.  I have to wear dress-like shoes for work and my slip-ons were clearly aggravating the issue, so I got some extremely cushioned--and rigid-soled-- dress shoes.  This helped the pain subside to the place I could continue training again (until I got mono but that was another issue).

               

              Despite time off and low mileage the problem has continued, and I realized it was worst when I was wearing those dress shoes.  I decided perhaps what had been necessary for the acute pain had, in the long term, kept the problem from healing.  So I got a pair of Merrell Gloves and have been wearing them nearly a week now.  They REALLY seem to help, my feet NEVER hurt at work anymore.  It will be a few weeks before I know for sure though.

               

              I would never run in shoes like this...running in flats have always made it worse.  But I'm becoming convinced that wearing them whenever I am NOT running is a good thing.

               

              I've posted this image before but whenever I can, I wear these to walk around:

              As you can see, there's no difference between the thickness of the forefoot and heel.  Basically, by walking around in these (or mowing), you'll be stretching your Achilles constantly.  The idea was inspired by what Arthur Lydiard told me--living in cold climate (MN), you tend to walk with short choppy strides in the winter to avoid slipping and your Achilles will bet tighter and tighter.  So I figure, well, then I'd go the other way around!!  These guys don't have much cushion at all so I would never run in them (except maybe for all-weather track).  If I walk around a few blocks in these on asphalt, I can tell my calves get really tight; but walking around in these in the winter (with cushion of snow), it really helped.  Of course, the issue then is too much foot (socks) exposture on the upper in -30F condition...

                I can't believe no one has mentioned this yet, but stretching calves and foam rollers help immensely.  Now that I have a foam roller, I can really tell the difference when calves are getting really tight. 

                 

                It's because (1) I don't necessarily believe in stretching--I think stretching is over-rated; and (2) foam roller is for whimps!  I go directly to the Achilles and really dig in and rub it down--it hurt like hell but it did the job.  Now I won't necessarily recommend that to other people but... ;o)

                  These are more or less classified as "American shoe diseases" and caused mainly by thick rigid inflexible shoes.  I myself was heading that direction in the 1990s when I developed a nasty case of Achilles tendonitis that stayed with me for more than 5 years!!  What really helped was to switched to low-heel flexible shoes and run on uneven softer ground.  At first, I went to the direction of inserting extra cushion under the heel (heel part under the insole) and that seemed to ease the pain but it was only tempolary.  Now I always run in ASICS Piranha, HyperSpeed or Tarther--I just can't go any thicker--but COMPLETELY pain free.  That and eccentric heel raiser (actually, the part that's eccentric is dropping but, oh, well...).

                  Nobby, do you maintain this advice for someone with flat feet and a history of )or readily observable) significant pronation?  If not, how would you temper it?  I think I'm in the demographic ill-suited for the barefoot/VFF trend.  But I'll do anything to get my Achilles under control so I can train again.

                  “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                    Nobby, do you maintain this advice for someone with flat feet and a history of )or readily observable) significant pronation?  If not, how would you temper it?  I think I'm in the demographic ill-suited for the barefoot/VFF trend.  But I'll do anything to get my Achilles under control so I can train again.

                     

                    Clive:

                     

                    I most probably would...for more than a half the times.

                     

                    I generally categorize causes of "over-pronation" into 3 types: (1) structural, (2) mechanical and (3) shoe-related.  (3) happens, in most cases, when the shoe is too straight and your foot sticks out medically.  This is why most shoe manufacturers put those hard plastic parts or whatever to stop your shoe/foot from rolling medically in excess; though interestingly not too many of them actually try to fix it by getting to the core of the issue--the shape of the shoe.  (2) is about running form.  If you swing your arms side-way too much, for example, that'll create too much torque and push your foot roll inward.  (1) is like you have knock-knees...or flat-feet.  Structural issues can be classified into 2; (a) skeltal and (b) muscular.  For example, some bow-legged people have their legs literally "curved", particularly lower leg.  You can't do much about that.  But muscular issue means, usually, one side of the muscle being too strong and the other side too weak.  I guess some case of, for example, chondramalacia (did I spell it correctly?) can be this case--either inner leg muscles are too weak or too strong and pull the knee cap to either outside or inside.  If, for example, there's a definite "groove" where the knee cap sits in, either too far outside or inside, you probably can't do much about it.  But if it's the muscle issue, you can do some easy simple strengthening exercises (definitely have to identify the cause of the issue and appropriate exercise to correct that cause) and you should be fine. 

                     

                    Causes of flatfoot can be variety of things as well.  It could be structural thing; if your foot is very narrow, there's a higher likelihood of over-pronate.  But also probably more likely cause is your arch being too weak and can't hold the arch up.  It is actually hard to say how "popular" this cause is because I'm sure, with all those "high-tech" shoes, our arch is getting weaker and weaker.  You konw when some people send out the announcement for new born baby, they put a foot-print of the baby.  All babies got flat-foot.  It's because they haven't "developed" arch yet.  Some people may never develop it...for the longest time.

                     

                    Okay, enough of categorizing.  You get the idea; usually cause of most problems are combination of variety of issues and probably hard to just identify ONE thing.  But, say, suppose the cause of your flatfoot is weak arch, though it may take some time, it would be fixed by strengthening your arch.

                     

                    Okay, it's too late now and I'm just rambling on and on and on and I don't know how to wrap it up.  But you got the point.  My answer to your specific question is; "I don't know."  It depends on the cause; but probably most likely. 


                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      Clive, I agfree with Nobby on this one.

                        I was diagnosed to be a flatfooted overpronator by the local running store.  I suffered for two years wearing shoes that were supposed to force my feet into the form they supposedly should take.  Now that I have ditched the Beasts and gone minimalist, my running is SO much better.

                         

                        MTA: I should caution, the transition took a full year.

                        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                          I'm pretty sure there is no way to alleviate this, but thought I'd ask...Any suggestions for getting rid of the pain in my achilles while wearing an army boot 12 hrs/day? When I'm barefoot it's obviously better because the tendon can stretch, but when I wear my boots with the un-yielding back part, it's brutal. I loosened it up a lot, but now it's just rubbing and causing a blister to form from being so loose. It's getting pretty painful.
                          Oh, and just found a nice sized nodule on the tendon, so I know I'll be taking a few days off...This bought of AT came from the last 20k ruck we did when I paced the 3 hour group and never changed my gait from a speed walk. I'm pretty sure that's when it happened..(and no, I can't go on a soft shoe profile! lol). Thanks...

                            I had achilles tendinitis for 4 years. When I got it, I was running 80mpw in minimalist shoes, and it was debilitating at first, in the acute stage. I was able to get from there to chronic manageable pain by slowing my running down and doing eccentric calf raises.

                             

                            I finally solved the problem by wearing shoes with a very high heel during the day (I would recommend cowboy boots) and moving to a flexible trainer with a high heel (NB 890) instead of stupidly sticking with the minimalist fashion.

                             

                            All of this contradicts the advice of Nobby, but it's just my experience.

                             

                            Directly to skeeter: I would recommend, short term, raising the heel of the boot in order to take pressure off the achilles. Obviously this is not a long-term solution, but on the other hand if you want the achilles to heal, you need to stop stressing it so much. 

                             

                            The way to heal the achilles: use it in ways that do not stress it.

                             

                            Then, once it's healed, you can focus on slowly lengthening it (if this is really possible.)

                             

                            MTA: Also, I would hit it with Ibuprofen, skeeter.

                              Hey Jeff, I put one of my old inserts in my boot today for that foot, it seems to be helping a bit. My log is definitely not UTD, but I've been pretty consistent with the weekly mileage and haven't done anything stupid like went from 0-40 in one week. I guess it's just the stress of the past few months finally getting to my foot. There are some things that I can't stop doing on a day to day basis, but I understand I definitely need to start taking some stress off it. The nodule is getting bigger, and I really don't want it to pop. I think I'm going to try and dig out the old foam roller as well and roll out my calves. I'm up for new shoes (big time) and will look into those NB you had Jeff. Thanks!


                              Maggie & Molly

                                glad I found this thread.  As a result of start/stop running, breaks and then overtraining I have been struggling with achilles tendonitis since March.  I now have a stick roller that I use post run.  It seems to be helping  It hurts like a sob while doing it though.  I've done everything from not run to run but avoid hills to 'screw it' and run - pretty much everything ends the same.   I'll keep reading.....

                                 "It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop."
                                Wisdom of Confucius

                                HF 4363

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