Author Topic: Achilles Tendon pain  (Read 4204 times)

Achilles Tendon pain
« on: April 25, 2008, 12:13:21 pm »
On PBP last year I got some tendon pain for the last couple of hundred kilometres.  It wasn't enough to stop me riding, but it was a bit sore.  I put this down to insufficient ankle warming (I was wearing lightweight summer shoes and socks) and bad weather.  It persisted for a couple of days afterwards and then died down.  On a long ride a month later, it came back after fifty miles, but was gone the next day.  I didn't ride any distances over the winter and assumed it had gone away. 

During the Easter Arrows, which was cold and wet, one of my overshoes didn't work and I had to take it off.  I got tendon pain in that ankle, and it's been affecting me since - walking and riding quite short distances sets it off.  Resting it for a couple of days hasn't helped - it's fine until I start exercising it.  It also feels quite swollen. 

What can I do? I have the Brian Chapman in less than a month and I don't think I'll be able to complete it in my current state.  I don't want to be taking painkillers and gritting my teeth for fear I'll do myself a real injury.  I've lowered the saddle on my bike - a fixie with toe clips - and although that has reduced the amount of ankling I do and thus the amount of soreness while riding, I am still in some discomfort.  My fitness is suffering because I don't want to go out on the bike. 

Any suggestions and advice are appreciated!

Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 12:21:35 pm »
Ibulieve is amazing on achilles.

I got pain the day after my 400 and 600 PBP qualifiers and couldn't walk.  Rubbed Ibulieve on at my desk and had no pain whatsoever on the way to the loos to wash my hands :thumbsup:

I know fixedwheelnut has also commented on getting ultrasound to assist healing.


Speaking to my physio she said that there are two calf muscles, and both need stretching.  SO not just the usual foot behind you, heel on floor and lean forwards, but with your foot directly under your body keep it flat on the floor and bend that knee - it stretches the other calf muscle which the achilles is more related to (if that muscle tires the achilles does more work).

Also ride "heel down" for a bit to stretch the legs out.

Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 02:20:43 pm »
Calf stretches and heel raises are the main exercises you should be looking at.

Someone posted these the other day.....

http://www.nismat.org/ptcor/eccentric_achilles/

Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 12:47:15 pm »
One option that worked for me was acupuncture.
I had achilles problems for several years from my mid-twenties following a kick in a game of football.
It stopped me playing and running.
After having, over several years, physio, rest, stretches, podiatry, anti-inflammatories, light-touch therapy I eventually tried acupuncture.
After the first visit my swollen achilles shrank in size to match that of the "normal" one and I can play 5- a-side again. Eleven-a-side is beyond me but, that's down to age.

Good luck.

Domestique

Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 04:30:58 pm »
If its self treating aproach you are taking then sealable plastic bags filled with water and frozen in a v shape applied to the tendon might help.

Glosbiker

  • Gentleman Antiquarian
Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2008, 05:01:55 pm »
Having caused all sorts of problems to both Achilles tendons by doing way to much fieldwalking on ploughed fields in what turned out to be unsupportive boots, my experience is:

RICE

Check to see whether your foot is pronating on the pedal stroke

Orthopedic inserts

Acupuncture

I eventually had a pair of high ankle boots custom fitted for me at Altberg in Richmond, N. Yorks - problem sorted.  My physio and the bootmaker at Altberg both told me that they were seeing increasing numbers of people with Achilles problems because of the growing trend among bootmakers to put an inflexible plastic heel cup in their boots that caused the tendonitis.  I can't imagine cycling shoes are any different
Question everything, accept nothing.

Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2008, 12:56:49 pm »
Having caused all sorts of problems to both Achilles tendons by doing way to much fieldwalking on ploughed fields in what turned out to be unsupportive boots, my experience is:

RICE

Check to see whether your foot is pronating on the pedal stroke

Orthopedic inserts

Acupuncture



I'm not sure about the Compression part of RICE- better, I think, to leave the tendon as free as possible.
On the boot/shoe front, I now cut two grooves either side of the achilles "protector" to prevent it digging into the tendon.


Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2008, 01:00:24 pm »
Thanks everybody! It's feeling a lot better now.  I had been resting it for a couple of days before I posted, and the combination of stretches, ibuprofen gel and a tubular bandage has really helped.  The swelling has mostly gone and I can walk on it without any pain at all.  It still clicks a lot and I'm sometimes aware of it, but the ache and the occasional stabbing pains have gone completely. 

I'll keep up the stretches and take some gel with me on longer rides, but I think it's nearly cured :)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 01:50:49 pm »
Avoid doing anything that provokes the pain.
Consider taking ibuprofen tablets (if you can) if you get the pain.
Try shoes with higher heels (I don't expect you to wear stilettoes) if available. (Cobblers can build in a heel raise for some problems... if you can  find a cobbler.
Rest with your foot above the level of the hip.

Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 03:12:47 pm »
It's back.  Cycling sets it off, even over a couple of miles.  I don't think I'll be able to do the BCM at this rate :'(

Thanks for your help though, everybody.

Re: Achilles Tendon pain
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2008, 03:24:15 pm »
Try different shoes? 

Flexy soled and uppered shoes play havoc with my achilles, whereas with stiff ones, such as shimano mtb shoes never do.