Anchilles worries

Can anyone tell me how long I really have to wait to run with anchilles prblems? I have paratendonitis Might have spelt that wrong) diagnosed several weeks ago after an acute onset. I have been really sensible and been walking. cycling, rowing etc. with the occasional easy run. However, it really isn't mended well and now I am sick of the sensible approach and feel I want to do some proper exercise. I am desperate to get running again (I was running 5 times a week on a variety of surfaces and feeling great about myself) as I quite frankly feel crap.

I have had sports massage fortnightly (not convinced that has done anything) and ice both ankles every day. I'm thinking I might just run and sod it. Advice from fellow (irritated) sufferers gratefully received.



  • Take it slowly! I leapt in after having tendonitis and the result was mutliple re-occurrances. Get advice from a physio -and follow it! Once I realised that I had to take it seriously I eased back into running using run/walk splits, which enabled me to increase my mileage with out getting futher flare-ups. Also get advice about using anti-inflamatories (Ibruleve gel/nurofen)Please have patience - it's really not worth it making it worse!
    All the best
  • Hi RB,

    I've had achilles tendonitis for almost 6 months now - I share your frustration...

    Although I've not found a quick fix for my problem I'd recommend that you visit a sports physio asap. Achilles problems can easily become chronic, and at the other end of the spectrum your tendon can actually snap... I don't think there actually is a quick fix for this: just patience and maybe orthotics (they've helped, but not cured, me) and anti-inflammatories, as Helen suggests. Good luck - I know how irritating it is.
  • Thank-you for replies - it is as I suspected! The only time I am really troubled by it at the moment is first thing in the morning when it is a bit tight so hopefully I am on the way through things.

    Good luck to you fellow sufferers and hello rowing machine (again)....
  • I have a niggling pain which I think may be connected to my achilles. It is not severe and I had it off and on for months. The only way that I can duplicate the pain without running is by rotating my foot. Is this achilles tendonitis?
  • My pain in my right Achilles tendon began as what felt like a 'popping' and then after a long run, I could literally hear and feel the 'grating' of the Achilles as I moved the foot up and down.
    I was terrified as after a 20 miler, the following day I could barely walk.
    I immediately went to a sports phsio who I now see three times a week.
    I refuse to stop running - except for my rest day after the weekend long-un and maybe on monday when if I have pain I will do some rowing and cycling. Apart from that, I do 4 fast 10km on the treadmill (about 41min pace) per week and the long out door run at the weekend (did FLHM in 1hr29).
    The physio understands that I need to run so isn't encouraging me to stop - he uses the following which definitely help:
    1) Massage - of both the Achilles and the calf muscle - remember it's all connected and he found that my calf was uber tight
    2) Accupuncture - I was sceptical, but it really helps stimulate blood flow to the area - this is the big problem for the Achilles, it's far from the heart and doesn't heal (excuse the pun) quickly
    3) Heat and cold - and definitely after each run - 10mins each
    4) Stretching - vital - and done correctly too
    5) Ultra-sound with freeze gel - seems to help relax the area

    All-in-all, I think that the physio basically enables me to run with some pain, but less than I had - and I must stress, the pain really only comes on during the first 15mins of any run - and then it loosens up and feels fine - and then it usually starts to tighten and become painful straight after a run and especially the next day.

    A horrible injury that I hope to ditch straight after the FLM!
  • I've been suffering with AT problems since just after last years FLM. First it was the right leg which finall got better in September but one week later the left one went and although a lot better, It's still playing up from time to time.

    I had physio, massage and ultra-sound but I think it was mainly rest and stretching which had the greatest effect. Also, I would recommend you try some heal raises in your everyday shoes and your trainers. I use Sorbothane heal wedges and they really take the strain off the achilles.

    I also sometimes take an ibuprophen tablet (400mg) and hour before running.
  • Forgot to mention, those support tube bandages are really good too. These are about a metre in length and need to be layeredback and forth over the painful area. Definately seem to speed recovery.
  • Thanks to both of you: very helpful. However, I'm still not sure if the achilles is my problem. From the answers both of you concur that it is probably my achilles. Also what stretches are considered best
  • whatever stretches work for you! just make sure you keep your feet in constant alignment - don't let the back foot on a calf stretch angle in or out.
    best bet is to consult a sports-physio for a consult and get them to recommend what's best for you

    Good luck!
  • Christian - I was EXACTLY the same - saw no light at the end of the tunnel - but go to see a sports physio - proper massage, isolation of the painful area and accupuncture has not cured me but enabled me to train for the FLM - and as I want to run in 3hr15min - I need all the help I can get!

    The physio is a massive help.

    Chin up and good luck!
  • I have a similar problem with my AT seemed to flare up after increasing my mileage by 40% over six weeks,(which i did not think excessive at the time), I am in process of forcing myself not to run. Will continue this for another week and then try out the physio. It is a nightmare not being able to run but am finding that doing leg work in the gym, rowing and biking is helping my overall fitness.

  • I now just get a tightness/faint strain feeling in the mornings, but mostly healed with the help of going to the GP & an NSH physio. Found that problems caused by flat feet, now have foot arch supports/daily calf stretches/4mile walks 4 times a week & massage on calf by physio.

    Found that local private physios should be classed as con-artists, as the NSH physio said a 1st year student would know in 5mins what the problem was. Reading the columns why people try to run for 3/4 months after the injury occurance is a great mystery.

    Mark Palmer.
  • Not sure if the following will help any of you, but it certainly helped me.

    I used put heel inserts in my trainers and everyday shoes. Boots used to sell heel wedges not sure if they still do, in doing this, it raised the heel and shortened the Achilles enough to stop it pulling - The recommendation was that the heel was raised by approx half an inch, and off course both heels irrespective of which hurt.

    Once the injury had healed i would take the inserts out, but it is quite important to continue to stretch the tendon - running does tend to shorten it.

    Of course continue to ice leg.

    Not sure if it is available now in the UK but I got this tip from The Runners' Repair Manual by Murray F Weisenfeld many years ago. It does still appear to be available on the American Amazon Site., I bought it about 18 years ago and was money well spent and the above advice certainly worked for me.

    Good luck
  • Can anybody help me out there? I am currently training for the Long Mynd Hike in Church Stretton, Shropshire (50 miles in 24 hrs with 8000m of ascent)and I have picked up an achilles problem. After doing 18 mile yesterday of hill walking I can hardly walk today. I have considerable pain in my left achilles and with the hike only 2 weeks away I need some fixes. I would appreciate any advice?
  • I have been suffering for about 6 months with AT. started on my leftt foot and then moved to the right. The worst bit is first thing in the morning when it feel really tight but after that I get no pain walking it is just when I run. However, it is always tender to touch.

    I have been using an insole to try and help from a website Dr Foot. Not sure if this is helping yet

  • Is the aircast airheel any good to use.

    I have been unable to run for the past 3 months and now starting to get really frustrated.

    Any help and advise is appreciated.

  • I've had an achilles problem for about three months.

    After it first came on I spoke to an NHS physio (over the phone) and was advised to do some calf stretches, and continue running, but avoiding hills.

    I did this up to a couple of weeks ago - I was training for the Leeds 10k at the time and did not want to miss the race as I was raising sponsorship money. The problem did not improve at all but I think I managed to stop it getting any worse by limiting the amount of running I did.

    After the 10k I didn't run for a week and the thing seemed to be improving. However, one slow run was all it took to get it back to where it was.

    I've now been seeing a private physio for the past couple of weeks. She has identified various issues with my right leg - especially lack of mobility in the ankle - that are responsible for the problem.

    She has told me that I definitely must not run until there is no stiffness in the ankle in the morning. I think this will take rather a long time. However, the consequences of continuing to run could be to make the condition chronic, or need treating by surgery or need immobilising with a plaster cast. I reckon that stopping running for a while is the least bad option here.
  • By the way, there's lots of information about Achilles injuries on the web.

    This is the best site I've found

    and this is a very useful article
  • If you have an achilles injury would it be recommended to go cycling? I would assume the lack of impact would mean it should be ok?

    Just had something bad flare up down there and my physio is on holidays for a week. I don't want to stop training but think it might be a good idea to stop running...

    Any views?
  • I had an AT problem for 3-4 months late last year and ended up investing in a wobble board cushion thing which has since helped to strengthen my ankles.

    But your AT might be being agravated by muscle tightness elsewhere in you legs - as well as stretching (carefully!) your calf muscles and doing foot strengthening exercises, dont forget to stretch your quads and hamstrings - especially the hamstrings. So said my physio anyway and it certainly helped me.

    Best of luck getting it better.

  • I had it for ages but think I've finally shaken it off although I am still careful. These are my tips.

    (1) Always stretch and warm down properly after a run.

    (2) Ice, or at least put the cold shower on, the area after your run. Then massage freeze gel in after your shower. Don't bath after a run unless you are as mad as Paula Radcliffe and can get in a cold one.

    (3) Only step up milage very slowly. Try to avoid running 2 days in a row until it's not troubled you for a bit. I found this difficult - it's hard when you want to improve and you can't step up your mailage and can only get out 3-4 times a week, but the alternative is not going out atall for weeks on end if it gets really bad.

    (4) Until it gets a bit better try to keep to runs that are as flat as possible. Especially avoid long hills (even more than steep ones). Try to run on softer surfaces (than road) if available.

    (5) Concentrate on running by pushing off through your foot and onto your toes (especially on hills). When you develop this injury you tend to develop a habit of running flat footed, which makes it worse. I also found it bothered me less if I made the effort to run in big bounding strides rather than the shuffle I erroneously developed to protect the injury as well. Yes - run properly is what I'm saying - resist adjusting to try to compensate for this injury - it's playing right into it's hands!!!

    (6) Last thing at night, when you go to bed, lie on your back and do buttock crunches - strong enough to raise your hips, alternately. It only takes a few minutes to do about 100. A wise physio told me that all lower leg injuries are caused by weak buttocks. Whether it works on your achilles or not, you will have a cuter bottom, so what have you got to lose?

    This injury was the bane of my life for nearly 2 years but, although it still occasionally niggles, i seem to be able to head it off these days. My final tip would be not to get complacent - keep up whatever works for you because this little bugger will keep coming back if you don't.

    Hope my mad little rituals work for some other people too.
  • amfy, some good advice there and most of what you have said has worked for me especially taking bigger strides and trying not to run flat footed.When i use to watch myself on the treadmill i realised that i was running very stiff with no movement or looseness in the ankle area making me run slightly flatfooted.A lot of this i brought on myself by doing too much hill work on the treadmill. l
  • I am looking for any advice on Dry Needling for my achilles problem, does it work and how painful is it.
  • Hi Carolyn

     I had dry needling a few months back in an effort to get rid of a longstanding achilles problem. 

     I found it did have a positive impact.  The first time the guy worked on my calf there was an amazing release of tension in the achilles.  He then went on to needle tight spots in the quad, hamstring and glutes and again I could really feel the muscles soften and release.

     Not sure if I'm being a wimp but I did find it pretty painful.

     Unfortunately 2 months later I'm back with problems again but that's most likely down to me overdoing it.

     My advice would be to go for it as it will work to sort out any tightness in your legs and so release pressure on the achilles but you need to then follow it up with the advice offered here - particularly amfy's post above - to make sure the injury stays away.

     Good luck!


  • I had AT for about 3 months and finally resolved with physio and regular stretches and eccentric exersizes.  I also found that I had flat feet so now use insoles, and I make sure i ice after all long runs and keep my calfs stretchedm as they are often tight.  There is light at the end of the tunnel chaps, but I am afraid that the best and most useful advice I had was to half my mileage, and gradually increace by about 10% a week if the AT improved, in the end this was what probably did the trick.  I read an article that said that the achillies tendon takes 100 days to produce new cells to repair itself so time, rest and patience are key.

    hang in there, and take the advice of a decent sports physio

  • added to all of the above i think it's really important to do some leg strengthening workouts. All it takes is an hour a week to do a full lower body workout down the gym, I think it does wonders for eleminating weaknesses that can lead to injury.

     It's no coincidence that every pro athlete does gym work. I've never heard of one that doesn't anyway.

  • Eventually after nearly a year i found a brilliant speacialist who has confirmed i have torn my achillies (somthing i have suspected all along).The great thing is he is hopeful i will not have to go to surgery and i am having a foot brace for 6 weeks. it will be adjusted every 2 weeks.Has anyone out there ever had this done and what are your thoughts on it.At long last i feel i can see light at the end of the tunnel..Thanks Carolyn
  • Hi, I have been troubled with this problem since start of march. As soon as it happened I did the old, R. I.C.E. routine. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. With plenty of anti-inflamatory pills, stiff massage and a bag of frozen peas to help. I still carried out light training on the bike and long walks on the treadmill. I am still having problems to this date and have just recently placed a heel raise in my shoes to see if it will help. I reckon it came about after I changed my running shoes but the running shop where I purchased them disagree. So i took my old pair and the new pair back to them and low and behold the heel guard on my new pair were higher, hence in my opinion the problem. Will now need to buy a new pair or wait and see if the heel raise fixes the problem. But really depressed as I am unable to train and have the East Kilbride Hlaf Marathon/10k in June and do not know if will get the miles in?

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