How to stave off Achilles Tendonitis? (Read 189 times)

pedaling fool

    It's hard to even pinpoint the variables in order to guess what's changed.  As far as shoes, I've always just run in whatever was on sale at Dick's, whatever the running store suggested, whatever blown out shoes I found in the back of my closet.  I used to think I had super low maintenance feet.  I run barefoot occasionally just because.


    I guess now that I am getting older, I need to start being more careful. Sad


    I'm exactly the same; my shoes are always knockoffs and I run barefoot on the beach, both the hard-packed and soft sand.


    What I didn't mention in my previous post is that I have been experiencing the same pain in my Achilles, especially when I wake up in the morning and for at least the first mile of my runs. However, in my case I know what the problem is; I've dramatically increased my running.


    Personally, I'm not a fan of taking too much time off for recovery. I believe more in taking it easy and recovering through less intense activity, in this case running. I hiked the Appalachian Trail back in 2006 and I walked thru a lot of pain in the beginning, no time off, just less mileage and eventually the body heals itself. However, I must emphasize Weightlifting/strength training. It keeps your body from getting use to a routine.


      I have some similar symptoms that have (mostly) sidelined my running for almost two years now, so here's my situation:


      I developed achilles issues on my right side when training for Marine Corps Marathon - morning pain/stiffness, pain during longer runs, pain after sitting, etc.  After weeks of not running I was able to get rid of most of my pain, but the morning pain never went away.  Every morning, like clockwork, my first step hurts, and the tendon feels very stiff.  A few minutes of walking around, and the pain will go away only to return the next morning.


      Long story short, over the next 18 months I had x-rays and MRI's, all negative, and have tried many physical therapy treatments (dry-needling, Graston, ultrasound, lots of stretching and strengthening) without success.  I bought a road bike and started cycling to keep up my fitness up, but I still desperately want to get back into running.


      Recently I tried a new doctor, who diagnosed me with "Achilles Tendinosis".  Another MRI showed very little, and he recommended a different approach to physical therapy.  I'm about five weeks into this round, which has focused much more on improving my gait through stability and strengthening.  Though I have very high arches, I have a tendency to overpronate, causing my foot to slightly twist the achilles inward during each step.  I am running again (about 10-15 miles a week) and have been pain-free during the runs.  I have some light achilles pain a few hours after, and I have pain about 70% of the mornings (it was 100% before).  This PT has been promising, but I still have a ways to go.


      Well that's my story, hopefully there's a happy ending coming soon, but it's been a long and aggravating couple of years to get to this point.  To the original poster, are you still experiencing any pain today?  Have you changed anything (shoes, orthotics, exercises)?

      Sultan of slug

        +1 to taking several days off.


        Although it doesn't feel like a big deal now - and it might not be - you'll notice a tremendous number of horror stories about seemingly minor Achilles problems as you look into it. I had my own drawn-out ordeal with mine last year, yadda yadda, it was terrible.


        Muscles can heal quickly. Tendons, not so much. Eccentric heel drops ftw, with some rest for now.

          the OP is more than a couple months old.  a quick check of the running log shows:

          Current Streak

          1231 days


          so I'm guessing things have calmed down.

          In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion