QUESTION for you running veterans: I am having some major soreness in both Achilles tendons both while running and afterwards. I even have slightly noticeable lumps on both tendons that hurt ridiculously badly when I squeeze them on both sides of the tendon, and this is all the time. I know its just tendonitis, and I am icing and stretching before and after (and occasionally during) my runs. Any other advice? Thanks!
Ok, girl - you've come to the right place. I've been dealing with Achilles tendonitis for around a year now. I ignored it for months and months, running several half marathons with it, and then finally found a good doctor who helped me get over it. The first thing to understand is that Achilles pain is a result of tight calves. You can't get rid of tight calves - you have them and you always will. But there are things you can do to be pain free.
1. Find a podiatrist who is a runner. I wasted time visiting regular podiatrists who didn't understand my injury and my needs as much as a fellow runner. Once I found the right doctor, I was quickly on the road to recovery. This seems like a good one: http://www.delawarefootdoctor.com/
2. Not sure what kind of shoes you wear when you are NOT running, but stop wearing high heels and ballet flats with zero support. You need to be wearing wedges, sneakers, or shoes with a low, chunky heel. Lots of people know that bump on the back of the heel as a "pump bump." Though it pained me to stop wearing my favorite shoes, it helped in a big way. (A good doc can also make sure you're wearing the proper running shoes.)
3. Sleeping in a night boot also helps quite a bit. My podiatrist gave me one on my first visit and I can feel a big difference on rare nights when I don't use it. It keeps your foot flexed out which keeps the Achilles from shrinking and getting too tight. It's literally the difference between having zero pain when I stop out of bed and cringing at my first 10 steps each morning.
4. Treatment: I got several months' worth of treatment on my Achilles at the recommendation of my podiatrist. My first doctor (a failure) told me to just take 2 months off and I'd be fine. Unfortunately, that didn't work as I'd already been ignoring the pain for quite some time and it was pretty advanced. Things they did for me include trigger point therapy, massage (painful but super helpful), ultrasound to calm inflammation, electrical therapy, myofascial release, heat/cold. They also taped my legs with Kinesio tape before long runs, which is controversial but I loved it. You can likely skip all of this if your pain is still relatively new. All the more reason to find a good podiatrist.
5. Definitely take one anti-inflammatory per day for a couple of weeks. Clear this with your doctor first.
6. Get a foam roller. Use it on your calves every day. Follow with ice (no more than 20 mins per hour). Ice your calves and your Achilles. Ice several times a day. Stretch several times per day. This is crucial.
I hope this helps. Send me a note here or on DailyMile if you have any other questions.
edit: oh, and don't ice before a run. You always want to run on warm muscles. Avoid ice before a run and do a good 5-10 minute walk to warm up your calves. Then stretch, then run, then stretch, then ice.
Edited by sass a thon, 29 December 2010 - 01:10 AM.