Achilles tendonitis

Some advice please.  I have been suffering from achilles heel pain for a number of months now.  I have been under physio treatment but it has been over 3 months of treatment and no real improvement,  I have not done any running in this time only walking and that has been a slow build up.  I am getting really frustrated by the time it is taking for any real improvement.  Has anyone else had achilles problems that have taken a long time to heal?  Any advice would be gratefully received.


  • What exercises are you doing in between physio appointments?

    I think you will find the above thread contains pretty much all the information anyone could give you.

    Good luck.

  • Hi thanks for the link.  I'm doing heel drops 3 sets of 12?  Physio is doing deep tissue massage of the calf every visit.


  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Hi Kar4.  A New Year's task which I'll get round to at some point is to update that thread - informative but too wordy.

    Apart from the possibilities of new high-tech treatments or operations that I wouldn't recommend I don't think much has changed.

    Heel drops are very good - use your arms to ease yourself back up.  Deep tissue massage is also extremely important and very worthwhile. Keep going with that.

    The recovery is so slow you're hardly aware of improvement until one day you suddenly realise you're free from pain.

  • Still struggling on 9 months after what seemed like a relatively minor AT injury.  Now on my second physio and hoping to start running again soon.  Second physio recommends calf raises to strengthen calves and take the strain off the AT. Calf drops definitely work in the acute stage though.  Slow controlled drops and use both legs to do the raise part.

  • 2Old2Old ✭✭✭

    jaydub-extracorporeal shock wave therapy sorted out my left AT and improved my right AT so I can run but after 3 months of it I still have a way to go before full recovery. I find it best to keep running and cross training as resting for more than a day or two leads to more pain and stiffness in the ankle. Good luck

  • Hi everyone, thanks for the advice - it's good to hear others experience - I thought I was the only person who had had such a bad experience with achilles problems - most people I know only suffer for a few weeks and they are back to running again - pain free.  Thanks everyone.image

  • Hi, I have had chronic OT for many years, doctors and hospital advised to stop running.... I wasnt accepting that and got a third opinion from a great physio who today understood my desire to run.  I am now back running, very slowly but at least I am back. 

  • Another vote from Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) from me. I went for 4 sessions of ESWT. It was expensive but it certainly seemed to sort out my AT.

    I also incorporated eccentric heel drops adding a little more weight each day (Wore a rucksack and filled it with tins of beans!)

    Lots of ICE, no running, used spinning to keep fit!

  • I had achilles tendonitis a number of years ago - the result of repeatedly hopping over a wall rather than taking a long walk on a holiday whilst wearing flip flops!  It was excruciating, it started hurting at the end of holiday and after a day on my feet at work the tendon was clearly swollen and I was hobbling.  I ended up with ant-inflammatories and an ankle support from my GP.  I wasn't running more than a mile at that point but did quite a bit of high impact gym stuff so I was told to cycle instead to develop the strength - I did spin classes and gradually increased the standing work to build things back up.  Best advice I had was from via a colleague whose husband is a podiatrist - he said no flat shoes like ballet pumps, go for something nice an cushioned like a Clarks shoe, trainers were even better as long as they were well cushioned.  I also did lots of stetching exercises and he advised using the vibro plate at the gym to help this work.

  • 3 months in and no change! - its time to accept that either:

    1. treatment is not working
    2. I am not doing my exercises regularly enough
    3. or i am aggravating the tendon too much

    Generally, its a bit from all three but the third is a massive factor for foot pain.

    This is particularly the case when people commute.

    Sadly there is also the fashion factor in females. As Pandora says choice of foot wear can make a massive difference in controlling the amount of aggravation.

    Should you be doing all of these to the best possible then you will need some stimulation to accelerate the tendon repair.

    Statistically ESWT works in 80% of suffers and only takes 3 sessions. It is however a leap-frog treatment. As in it ignites a healing boost but your body still needs to recover. There's more info at the London Foot Pain Clinic website.


    Hope that helps?

  • Ironically I was going to post on this same topic this morning. Really frustrating, but after a few weeks back of getting back into running after quite a long gap and with no issues, I pulled my left achilles yesterday, and Im training for an event.

    I have a history of achilles issues although its been a long while since I've been injured with one. Because its not a muscle injury I'm always insure as to whether you should just rest up with an achilles pull or excercise and stretch it, as suggested above. I do know in the past it has taken many weeks for it to heal fully. I was hoping to do a 10k end of October which I guess might now be out of the question.

    I dont have access to physio so is the general consensus that stretching such as heel drops is best route to repair?   

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭

    Not sure why this particular thread has been bounced today, but there was quite a lot of stuff on this in a recent thread where some experienced runners posted (i.e., Also Ran, and others).

    Warning that it's not particularly comfortable reading....


  • Hi guys, 

    Will drop in quickly.. I have been suffering for around 4 months.. Too much to post and there are allready lots of thread and may I miss stuff but there are some threads and stuff I have posted on previously  and someone else called Alehouse who has posted some great links who has been through the worst of it!  -

    So have a look at my previous posts and scourer though, won't be too hard to find but will be a few posts and a few pages back

    There are some really good exercises that focus on a more mobile approach than isolating the achilles - Such and ankle rotations combining a calf stretch

    But in general rest, active rest, ankle mobility + strength stuff is what I've been doing.. Some people say heel drops work, I personally think they aggravate the achilles and stopped doing them, changing my footwear helped to to a supportive shoe as I was supinating... Robin with no access to physio - Working on everything else has helped me (Calves, hamstrings flexibility etc) So get a foam roller as that would be next best thing to a massage IMO...


    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • I'm currently seeing an Orthopaedic Surgeon. He is adamant that using Alfredsons heel drop protocol combined with avoiding the aggravating cause is the first thing he would advise. It works for the majority, but  doesn't always work out. My MRI scans of my Achilles show no healing taking place after 6 months having tries out most of the 1st line of attack approaches.

    I'd tackle thinks head on and not put any pressure to do the 10k in Oct.

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