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Crank monkey
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any easy fixes for a mild case of achilles tendonitis? (other than not riding!!) Mine seems to flare up particularly in the cold or anytime I put a lot of strain on it, but only on my right achilles.

It doesn't matter how much I stretch or do anything else, it just won't seem to go away (it's been about 2 months now). I've been laying off the riding, partly due to the heel, partly due to the snow out there.

I've had it looked at, and was told to take some Advil and come back in a week. Not really much help there!

Any suggestions?
 

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There's no such thing as an easy fix for achilles tendonitis if you want to keep active. Physical therapy might help. Warming it up slowly and keeping it warm (read: adequate sock layers over the inflammed area) might also help. Anything that reduces the stress on it might help. Winter is a good time to rest it and recover. I've seen some cases last for a decade and longer.
 

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It's about showing up.
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Ned says

that if your foot is too far back on the pedal you can strain that part of your leg. Take a look at where your cleats are. Moving the ball of your foot forward with a cleat adjustment may reduce the stress. It's worth a shot; no money, no crippling side effects.
And one more thing. Stay off the bike some more and give yourself a chance to heal.
Good luck.
 

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Had mine on the right achilles for a few years now. Been to 3 surgeons and had one cortisone shot(it worked super, but only lasted 3 months). Tomorrow I go to my surgeon for a pre physical prior to surgery. There is always the possibility it will go away on it's own, but it may not. Mine's keeping me from doing most of the things I like so it's cutting time so I can get back to the great out of doors. Therapy didn't do it for me either. Neither did resting it for weeks. Nor did icing do much. Aleve works well, but alas is only a temporary fix.

See a surgeon. Ask questions. Make a decision. For some reason the docs up here don't like to give cortisone shots, but fortunately my brother is an orthopaedic surgeon. He gave me the shot while on a visit and it was super for the summer. It came back almost exactly 3 months later. It was great while it lasted. Luck.
 

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fred3 said:
For some reason the docs up here don't like to give cortisone shots, but fortunately my brother is an orthopaedic surgeon. He gave me the shot while on a visit and it was super for the summer. It came back almost exactly 3 months later. It was great while it lasted. Luck.
Doctors avoid steroid injections into the achilles tendon because it predisposes it to rupture (steroid weakens the connective tissue, there's very high tension on the achilles, and it's an area of poor blood flow that doesn't heal well).
 

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Some do. Some don't. As my brother says you don't inject it into the tendon itself. It gets injected just forward of the swelling. No rupture occured and it went away completely for 3 months. It is back, but appears to have reappeared just slightly above the original location.. The poor blood flow is what seems to be the major cause of the scar tissue and inflammation(if I got all that correctly). I could get another injection, but it seems likely it'll just return. While there is an outside chance it won't return I'd like the problem taken care of permanently, I hope. Surgery here I come! Drat.
 

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Smytty said:
It doesn't matter how much I stretch or do anything else, it just won't seem to go away (it's been about 2 months now). I've been laying off the riding, partly due to the heel, partly due to the snow out there.

Any suggestions?
Since tendonitis is an inflamation, you're not going to be able to stretch it away - in fact, that'll make it worse, according to the physical therapist I saw last summer. Healing is going to take rest and anti-inflammatories/NSAIDS.
 

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Look after it. I ruptured mine 18 years ago and it's never been the same.
brozek said:
Since tendonitis is an inflamation, you're not going to be able to stretch it away - in fact, that'll make it worse, according to the physical therapist I saw last summer. Healing is going to take rest and anti-inflammatories/NSAIDS.
 

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Crank monkey
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I'm planning on resting over the Christmas Break anyway (at least until the first week of Jan). I'll look at moving my cleats - that might be an easy fix.

Merry Christmas
 

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I have it now myself..

Smytty said:
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I'm planning on resting over the Christmas Break anyway (at least until the first week of Jan). I'll look at moving my cleats - that might be an easy fix.

Merry Christmas
Had it the first time about 6 months ago b/c I started running in cheap sneakers. Lasted about 2 weeks, then I went to a doctor. No swelling of the tendon, but had pain in the tendon and right above it. The doctor prescribed a med called 'arthrotec'. That helped, along with stretching it 5 times a day, gently. It went away in 1 week. Now I have it again, and again its b/c I bought a treadmill, and guess what? Still have those cheap sneaks! :( Must go out and buy some New Balance!
Get well, and stretch!
Merry Christmas.
SB
 

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Try ice and heat, alternating them for about 20 minutes each. Ice helps swelling and heat improves blood flow. Tendons and ligaments grow/repair at about 1/3 the rate of muscle due to the lower blood flow. So it will take longer for the tendon to heal fully.
 

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Good luck with the Achilles. I ruptured mine in late May and and just finished Physical Therapy. It's about 75 % of what it was before it ruptured. I was told by my surgeon and a friend who is a PT that this injury normally takes a year to rehabilitate. I completely dedicated myself to rehabilitation over the last four months and it payed off with a 6 month recovery. The Achilles is nothing to mess around with this is by far the toughest injury I have ever had to recover from. Find a good Physical Therapist who can work with you, not a doc in the box type of set up.
During my recovery I found that the surgeon although highly recomended and respected in the sports injury field did not really have a lot of answers for me. The PT could answer almost all my questions about recovery, rebuilding muscle and tendon. Once again good luck.
 

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Oh, sorry I didn't mean to confuse you. Yes I had surgery to repair it. I had no choice since it was a complete break. Now when Iook back I had a lot of little warning signs but I ignored them all. It took two months for the skin to heal the lack of blood flow to the area slowed down the process. After two months the incision healed and I started therapy. I had a friend who went through the same injury about a year earlier than me. I called him on the phone the first thing he told me was I am so sorry you have to go through this injury. The next thing he told me that I was going to learn patience. I didn't quite understand at the time but I do now. My first instinct was to work really hard to get back in shape but I had to take it extremely slow the whole time. I was waiting for the skin to heal, then I had to rebuild muscle that I lost. Not just the lower calf but every muscle on the right side of my body had gotten smaller. My balance was gone, I literally had to learn to walk all over again and then I had to learn to run again. I'm still working on the running part. It doesn't feel quite natural yet. No real power on the bike yet either but I do feel a little stronger every day.
 
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