Achilles tendinopathy - help!

Stebby

Cathlete
I hurt my Achilles tendon at the end of February doing Karate. I was diagnosed with Achilles tendinopathy, which I understand is the more current name for Achilles tendinitis. I am icing it 2X per day, stretching it at least 1X per day, and seeing a physiotherapist 1X per week (reduced from 2X per week). I am rolling trigger points on my calf 1X per day. I have cut out all high impact activities and exercises that might stress it (for example, I have replaced alternating lunges with static lunges). I have bought better shoes with more heel support, on the advice of the physiotherapist. However, nothing seems to be helping very much and I'm only marginally better. It's been almost 8 weeks now and I am getting so frustrated! Has anyone else gone through this? What treatment protocol did you follow? How long did it take for your issue to resolve?

I am 52 and maybe it's just going to take a long time because of my lack of spring-chicken-ness!

Thanks,
Stebby
 

ATC1986

Cathlete
As an athletic trainer, I treat many many athletes with Achilles problems. You got new shoes, but did you get proper inserts to correct alignment? I see that problem often. In all actuality, it takes time. I tell my athletes that they need to be doing wall stretches for a minimum of 3 minutes at a time with straight knee, and then repeat for 3 more with the knee bent. Do that multiple times a day. Have you ever done ice massages?
 
Stebby,

I have issues with my calf and Achilles region as well. It's not as severe as your situation; just a soreness that flares up every now and again. What helps me is to do the things you are already doing (especially the stretching and not doing ANY exercise where I felt pain or discomfort). The other lifesaver for me has been compression sleeves. I've tried both socks and sleeves, and I like the sleeves better. My favorite is the Zensah brand, which I actually bought because someone on the forums recommended them. Whenever I feel a flare-up, I always always always wear my Zensah sleeves, both during my workout in the morning and all day afterwards for assistance in recovery. You might want to check with your doc to see what he/she thinks, but compression has done wonders for me!
 

Stebby

Cathlete
Thanks, ATC1986. Great advice. I did not get any inserts/orthotics for my shoes, although my physiotherapist said she would like to look at orthotics for me (she is an orthotics specialist also) once my inflammation has settled. I also haven't been stretching as long as 3 minutes per stretch (just 1 minute per stretch) so that sounds like a good thing to try too. And I haven't done ice massages ... I assume that means what it sounds like, rubbing an ice cube over the area?

Stebby
 

Stebby

Cathlete
Thanks, Lisa. Did you buy the sleeve at a regular pharmacy, or did you need to go to a specialty store for it?

Stebby
 

ATC1986

Cathlete
Thanks, ATC1986. Great advice. I did not get any inserts/orthotics for my shoes, although my physiotherapist said she would like to look at orthotics for me (she is an orthotics specialist also) once my inflammation has settled. I also haven't been stretching as long as 3 minutes per stretch (just 1 minute per stretch) so that sounds like a good thing to try too. And I haven't done ice massages ... I assume that means what it sounds like, rubbing an ice cube over the area? Stebby

Get you some Dixie cups and fill 3/4 of the way with water and freeze. You'll just massage that over your Achilles and peel the cup as needed.
 

Stebby

Cathlete
Get you some Dixie cups and fill 3/4 of the way with water and freeze. You'll just massage that over your Achilles and peel the cup as needed.

As luck would have it I already have Dixie cups (got them for Cathe workouts :)). I will try that.

I have done 2 sets of stretches today - each 3 minutes straight leg calf stretch + 3 minutes bent leg calf stretch - and 2 sets of icing. The stretching was horrible for the first 2 minutes but then my leg started to "let go" and it wasn't so bad. Evidently I need to make sure I get to that let-go point. Thanks for the tips.

Stebby
 

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