Achilles problems

After running relatively injury free since February I now have a very sore achilles tendon on my left ankle. I ran 12 miles yesterday (my longest run this year)without any problems. Last night it began to ache and today it is slightly swollen and hard to touch and painful when I press on the area. I have iced it, taken paracemotal and plan to rest this week.

When will it be okay to cross-train and any chance of doing the Glasgow Half Marathon in 3 weeks time.


  • Achilles ..yes that was was downfall. I paid the price for it during the FLM 2002. Just after 1/2 way, it started with a dull ache, then i felt pain everytime my foot hit the ground and i was now landing heavy, flat-footed on my left. The problem just got worse and worse. Silly me, i should have dropped out and call it quits. I didn't. I'm still not back to full training. If you can, try to get acupuncture, which does wonders for tendonitis. See your GP about getting Ketoprofen gel and anti-inflammatory tablets, keep icing on daily basis, 2-3 times daily. Supplement called Supaflex MSM Plus (msm, glucosaime sulphate and chondroitin) will also help. My left achilles is getting better and have started training again. It still gets a bit sore now and then but is 100% better then it was on 13th April and thereafter. If you're in SW London area, i can give you details of the FANTASTIC therapist who got me sorted out. I couldn't even walk properly let alone run. I see him every fornight for acupuncture on my LEFT achilles.
    Hang in there. Try deep-water running if you have access to a pool. That's a great way to maintain running fitness. To strenghtrn the ankle joint and its connective tissue, try Reebok Core stability classes at your local gym. Friction the tendon yourself, painful as it is but it will help to break up any scar tissue that has formed or is forming.
    If its bad, i suggest you don't stretch the tendon, but let it settle down a bit, massage the calf though.
    Hope all goes well and good luck with Glasgow.
  • Hi there thanks for your suggestions. I live in North east Scotland but your idea of an acupucturist sounds good, I know a good one who helped me with my back problems so will consult her.
    It does seem less painful today but still not able to go up and down stairs properly. Swimming and water based activies is not something I enjoy so any cross-training will be on a stationary bike.
  • Rest...Rest...Rest...and Rest,,, firstly rest, easy stretching of the calfs and lower legs, and possibly hams, increase the length, increase the strength,,,
    Ice it and use ibuprofen gels while its swollen to get the swelling down, then apply heat/massage/etc when the sweling gone down, do cross training on the bike, but be careful still,, cycling is no impact but still involves pulling/pushing motions of the achilles,.
    Use Glucosamine sulphate and Vitamin C to try and help the healing process, and see a physio/podiatrist, etc they are good guys here to help us and you may have a gait problem like me that has triggered the pain.
    check this posting here::
    for possibly more help
  • Saw a physio/acupucuturist yesterday who spent a long time checking my shoes and body alignment as well as checking the injury itself. I have minor tears in the calf muscles which attaches themselves to the achilles, these have caused my achilles to tightened placed extra pressure on the bone beneath the tendon and caused a bursa to form. Ultra sound was applied and has helped alot and getting more treatment this week.

    Excercises were recommended to strenghthened the muscles on the front of my legs and non-weight bearing stretches recommended as well as a heel raise in my shoes. Gait analysis was recommended as I am a severe overpronator which one of her colleagues can do but it very expensive.
  • try the rebound clinic in settle, if your close enough. I aint used it but from what ive heard theyre good.
  • Try this as well - sounds weird - but worked for me when the physio's treatments were useless.
  • hello, run4 your life!
    I also suffer from the dreaded tendonitis,(that's a long term injury), paired with a nasty sprained ankle (the accident happened last Fri.but I still find walking hard).

    I do live in SWLondon, and I am interested in having more info on the therapist, so highly recommended by you.
    Could you please help out?

    very much appreciated
  • Tons of good advice from everyone, just one thing more Jane - if you normally wear high heels during the day, quit! If you must wear heels, buy low comfortable ones and chuck the others out.
  • To Sheila Anne, never wear high heels. Achilles problem much better now and have done some running without making it worse. Physio has given me a few exercises to strengthen my foot muscles (to help with overpronation) and given me the go ahead to run my half-marathon next weekend, but stop running and walk sometimes if it flares up.
  • Jane

    I have had the same problem for a number of years and (or because)I have only recently sought professional help. I would agree with all the advice given, especially the bit about getting treatment but I would also add another 6 pieces of advice....when you do run make sure you warm up warm up warm up and stretch stretch stretch. I tend to warm up for longer than normal and stretch the same, usually concentrating on the offending achilles for ~ 10 minutes. I know it's apain,especially when you are running with someone else, but, for me, it really helps (especially the next day)

    hope this helps

    p.s. a similarly good stretch at the end!
  • I am a well established runner and I run 5/7 days per week. I had 6 rest days during my annual leave this summer when I resumed a light run on the sandy beach (different terrain) and after this my Achilles began playing up to the extent that I had to turn back from one of my runs after less than a mile, which I have never done before!

    I am continuing to exercise - gym & cycling - and really easy light runs to progressively get back to running. In summary I think tings are improving and then I am hobbling around with pain/discomfort in the Achilles like I only picked up the injury for the first time.

    Do I really need to rest for a week/weeks or even months?
    Can I continue with light/less impact exercise on the Achilles e.g. cycling/gym?
    Should I do no sport at all? If so for how long?
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated
  • I had a slight achilles injury earlier this year and was told by physio to stop running for a while and do something else (swimming/bike was suggested) to keep cardio fitness.

    I was also given a progressive calf stretching routine (dynamic heel drops) to strengthen the muscles. I was very cautious but after about 8 weeks was back out running without any discomfort at all. Still do the heel drops after a run though to stay on top of things.
  • Overpronation in your shoes is a definate risk factor and you may find you can get back to running earlier if

    a) you get good gait anlysis and a suitably supportive shoe or Orthotic.

    b) you also get a supportive orthotic for your normal daytime shoe as well
  • There is a lot of comfort from these posts which I need as I have exactly the same problem as many others. I haven't run for 2 weeks now and as I have just joined the over 70's I expect it may take a bit longer than most. Its very frustrating and probably my own fault for doing some over enthusiastic exercises. Never had this problem before either. As for advice: most of us try things we shouldn't do  or don't listen to our bodies or try to get back running again too soon!  Or all three. Good luck everyone.image
  • Getting an orthotic fitted for both my daily shoes (one moulded to the exact shape of my foot) and one for my trainers (a generic one cut to size) worked wonders for my tendonitis.

    Before seeing the podiatrist and getting the orthotics, I used to limp around every morning after getting up and every time I'd been resting for more than a few minutes - I genuinely believed I'd have achilles tendonitis for the rest of my life.  The second I started using the orthotics, the pain disappeared when I walked.  I left it for a couple of weeks and then started running again with the orthotics in my trainers.  I still experienced some pain after running, but not to anywhere near the same degree, but all pain has now disappeared (about 10 months later) and the bunched-up lump in my tendon has almost disappeared.

    It probably also helped that I lost a lot of weight, therefore reducing the stress on the achilles, but if you're a normal weight anyway, that won't be an issue.

    I still wear the orthotics every day and hardly notice them.

  • Acupuncture, is it worth a try? Feeling desperate!

  • I'm no expert but I can say that I ''manage'' my right achilles.

    This means I've never been able to totally get rid of the problem. I did however have massage / self massage (plucking and shearing the tendon after warming the area). I also do regular single heel lifts (from the 'down' position to 'up') -15 per heel x2 times each done twice per week.

    I also have purpose made orthotics - get a recommendation from someone. The orthotics made the big difference, but the rest definately helped

    The key point is to do consistently. I've been doing this for several years. I also do biking and swimming to support the running, and try to do core work (although not so good at that). I can run 4 times a week no problem - including 2 hrs lsd.

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