someone help pleeeeeeeeease


i havn't posted for a while as i've had an injury for about 18 months that seems to be mystifying the medical world!

i keep getting a tender area on and around the area of bone, where the achilles tendon joins the heel, on my left foot mainly, and slightly on my right foot. I have been to a very good local school of podiatry and had custom orthotics made, seen a sports physio (who said 'if the podiatrist you have seen can't fix it, nobody can, he's the best!)a sports massage chap, doctors etc etc.

I assumed it was a tendon problem, but i'm told the tendon is fine, but the gereral opinion is that it is the tendon that is being upset where it joins to my heel bone. There is no visable thickening, nodules, swelling, of the tendon. Massage helps but dosn't fix it, same goes for god knows how many stretches i've been advised to try. Rest dosn't work. I even gave up running for 3 months to give the rest thing a real chance!, no real change. It does go away almost completely while running and while i keep moving, but as soon as i stop and rest,for a while, then get up and walk, it's stiff and tender again? Stiff calf muscles is another conclusion the experts keep coming to, but despite helping, calf muscle stretching isn't really getting rid of the problem long term. I did tough guy and the FLM last year and it didn't make it better or worse, just a bit more stiff and sore than usual, but soon settled down to it's normal level of being just painfull enough to make it feel like you shouldn't be running on it again. And that's how it is. Slightly better some days, worse on others. As soon as in rest mode i feel like taking a can of WD40 to it!

Anyone any ideas? I also play squash and badminton, but since this started it's ruined a lot of the enjoyment, as without knowing whats causing it, i don't know if i'm storing up real problems in the future?



  • Has anyone mentioned a calcaneal bursa to you? There is a small fluid sac between the tendon and heel bone at the insertion point of the achilles tendon. This can swell up and get quite painful. There's some information about it here:

    I has this a while back. It was sore to touch and eased up a bt while I was running, but then got worse afterwards. A few weeks rest and new running shoes along with massage fixed mine.

    Good luck.

  • I think I've got something similar, I had tendonitis which cost a fortune to try and sort out. I had orthotics but I feel as if they caused my problem. I just can't get anywhere near the degree of flex in my achilles and nothing seems to help. I'll be watching this thread.
  • Not sure if this will help but it helped me many years ago with something I read in a runners injury book.

    I placed a small wedge of padding under each heel, which had the effect of shortening the Achilles tendon, the pain being caused where it was overstretching the tendon where I Ran/Walked. Not sure if this is the answer, but it certainly helped me continue to run whilst suffering from tendonitis, originally I bought heel wedges in Boots, which worked fine, but these were unavailable so just padded underneath each heel with a small piece of old cloth – and it cured the problem. I imagine a wedge of foam rubber would work as well, anything enough to shortened the tendon.
  • Grendel

    tried that one, in fact i had that built up more and more until it made it worse as my foot didn't sit right in the shoe. I find this is a down side of orthotics, as soon as it's high enough in theory to shorten the tendon, my foot sits out of the shoe and dosn't feel right when running.


    no, calcaneal bursa has not been mentioned, i think you might be on to something though, as there is a small slightly sqidgy area there, that eases slightly with massage. I'll check the article thanks. The really annoying part, is that it flares up for no apparant reason, sometimes it is even ok after rest?, sometimes worse! It was bad last night and i hobbled up stairs to bed, yet this morning it's hardly noticable and i feel i could run o.k as i write this. So, back to sqare one? Oh yes, i must have tried about 4 makes of shoes. Podiatrist said dump Nike pegs and get asics 2100's, as they offer much more support. have also tried mizuno wave rider and brooks glycerin, no real change.

    thanks everyone for input so far, my fear is, could it be arthritus?
  • NFS

    I suffered badly from tendon problems in both achilles areas, to the extent that I could not put my right foot flat on the floor when getting out of bed and had to sleep with a splint on. One afternoon I was reading an article by Ranulf Fiennes (spelling!!) and his mountaineering etc and how he suffers from arthritic hands/fingers. He uses Honegar which is a mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey. So I thought why not give this a try. Within 2-3 weeks of using this twice a day the splint was thrown away and I could walk perfectly freely with no pain and I could put my foot flat on the floor first thing in the am. I now use this once a day and have been for about 12 months and am still managing to run all that I want and my sports therapist, who still gives me a massage every two weeks, has even recommended it to others who have felt some benefit. It sounds awful I know but it worked for me and it might be worth a try -you just take 2 tablespoons in water once a day, but as I said I took this twice a day for the first 2-3 weeks. Good luck.

  • Ready Brek

    thanks, wow........that sounds foul? I'll give it a go!, where do you find it to buy though?

    I'm using high strength Glucosomine, but i might try it mixed with Chondroitin. Anyone had good results with that? or do think they are just a con to make you feel you are helping your body?
  • Yeah it's not the greatest taste be sure of that! I get mine in Holland and Barratt but you may be able to get it in any healthfood shop.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Very interested in this too - I've had a sore twangy achilles for a while now, although NFS's description describes it perfectly as being where it joins the heel rather than the tendon itself. Deep tissue massage of the calves did help for a while, so I suspect it's a tightness thing causing inflammation or sommat. (you can tell I'm not a medic, can't you?)

    I think Glucosamine and Chondroitin are for cartlidge problems rather than tendon problems, so it won't help your achilles but it will stop your knees crumbling. do Apple Cider Vinegar capsules. Would they work as well as the stuff you drink? I just can't imagine it being very tasty in water.

    I could manage the honey fine......

  • Ready Brek

    o.k thanks, i'll try a small amount from Holland and Barratt, and if it helps i'll get it by the skip load from Zipvit.


    think you are right about knees, i've never had a knee problem (apart from a bit of over enthusistic cycling)since using glucosomine.

    Don't ankles have cartlidge of any sort? if not, whats stops them rubbing together? (no i'm not medical either!)

    I suspect if not a problem with bone/joint it's probably to do with stiff muscles/stretching or the bursa thingy that FlipFlop mentioned???
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Quite a good picture of the ankle here.

    The cartlidge will be between the bones as a cushion, whereas the tendons run around and about the bones, holding them together.

    From looking at the picture, I'm now leaning towards my pain being where the retinaculum meets the calcineus, rather than where the achilles attaches to it - assuming that the pictures are of the outside of the ankle.
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