Achilles Tendonitis

Anyone know how to treat this QUICKLY? It came on Thursday after a hard/long Wednesday evening run. I've never had Achilles trouble before, so I'm a little perplexed that it came on so quickly and has been so bad.

Generally it feels bruised/tight when walking around. Running on it Thursday it had a burning sensation. A couple steps later in the run produced some sharp stabbing pain. I took Friday off, and tried running again Saturday with the same progression (burning to stabbing). Called it quits at 2 miles. Hmmm... guess I'm a little worried about this one :(

Thought I'd throw this out there to see if anyone reading had great ideas :)

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

9 comments:

  1. I've had achilles problems off and on for 30 years. There's two answers to your question; it depends upon how much risk you're willing to take. The general consensus will be that you've ramped up mileage and intensity at the same time and too quickly and now you should back off entirely until you can run without pain; given how much time you have until the trials, that's not a bad idea, but one that's very hard to follow. The other answer: devices that keep the tendons stretched while you sleep, ultrasound, deep tissue/ cross-frictional massage/ active-release therapy, painkillers anti-inflammatories and ice, cross-training... the list goes on.

    The more you try to push through the injury, the longer it'll take to recover.

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  2. Bummer! I had this same thing happen a little over a year ago and the best advice I got was top stop running immediately. I didn't heed the advice early enough and was off for 4 weeks. I did cross train like an animal and was able to maintain most of my fitness. So, as hard as it is to do so right now, I would start cross training and get it treated ASAP. You can review the journey I took with this injury here: http://runawayfastjaymee.blogspot.com/2010/03/there-is-no-i-in-injury-oh-wait.html

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  3. Thank you both for your comments! Few questions, if you're willing? 1. Is biking okay? Or should I JUST stick to pool running (I absolutely HATE pool running, but will do it if there's absolutely nothing else). 2. Jaymee, how long would you recommend cross training before trying to run again? Do you think the amount you cross trained impeeded the healing process? Once you were off of your achilles, how long did it take to heal? What did you find that worked best for treatment? Any/all of the items Steve mentions above?

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  4. Nichole, I actually just looked back through my posts during that time and I covered all of the questions you ask. Start with the one that I linked above and then go forward in time. You'll find all the answers to what worked and didn't work for me and I post my xt schedules as well. I did a lot of biking. There's one that specifically addresses the treatments that did and did not work.

    My coach at the time had a similar injury just before the Trials and was able to get back to running with just a week off, but she stopped as soon as she felt pain and got a lot of treatment immediately (ultrasound, iontophoresis (sp?) patch). feel free to email me if you have more questions after reading through those.

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  5. Nichole,

    I agree with Steve, keep that achilles stretched while you sleep. I always recommend The Sock, a.k.a. the Strassburg sock. You sleep with it on at night and it keeps everything stretched out. It's worth the money to have around all the time.

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  6. How are you doing now? You can find a lot of tendonitis articles online or if I were you, have it checked by physician. I had tendonitis for 4 years. It was on and off but the level of pain was increasing. I did not take it seriously at first. On my third year, I started seeking for medical help. I've seen different doctors, tried different medications. I was able to have my left foot back to normal after I had my stem cell therapy with my ortho surgeon, Dr Grossman. The treatment was scheduled for 4 months. After my last session, I had high fever and my tendon was swollen for 6 days. After that, it was all good. Up to this day, I never experienced the same problem again. I hope you have already found the best treatment for you too... :)

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  7. Michael, thanks for the note! I ended up doing 3-4 steroid patches on the area to reduce inflammation and after 3-4 days of rest started ellipticalling, basically using the leg as a "club". That worked really well conditioning-wise (used a HR monitor and made workouts based on my running zones). I was able to start running on it after about 3-4 weeks. Not ideal with the trials just 2 short weeks after that, but I still managed a PR. Not sure how :).

    I hadn't heard about stem cell treatment... yikes. Glad it's better for you now, but that sounds really extreme (and expensive?). Is it back to 100%? I've noticed that mine is still weaker on the injured side. Not by much, but noticeable. Also less dorsi-flexion on that side.

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