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Ping CK - Achilles
Last Post 08/14/2014 02:16 PM by Kevin Burnet. 6 Replies.
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Serotta94

Posts:25

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08/12/2014 05:28 PM
Hey CK,
I know you answered all of this at the old forum and I don't want to waste a bunch of your time, but I recall you had a pretty major achilles issue.

How did you finally get rid of it?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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08/12/2014 05:52 PM
No waste of time at all....glad to help.

Short answer - time. Achilles issues are a b*tch to get rid of, due to low blood flow in the area. patience is key.

Long answer: A few things helped. 1) I had a Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment done. This got me 75% of the way abck, but not quite 100%. Then my clot kicked in, preventing further treatment.

2) Eccentric heel drops . Not calf raises, calf drops. Start w/ 2x20. Stand on the edge of a stair. Raise up on your good leg (tip-toes), switch to your bad leg and slowly lower PAST horizontal on the bad leg. Rise back up on the good leg and repeat. Coming down should be on a count of 3. YOu may feel some discomfort in the Achilles.....this is OK. Pain is bad....dicomfort is what you want. Once you are doing the 2x20 with no issues, use a weighted backpack. Start with 5 lbs and work your way up. I think I got up to about 30 lbs, at one point. The extra weight is a critical component of the therapy process.

3) And this is rather counter-intuitive and should only be taken as a n=1 experience....I switched to zero drop shoes for my everyday shoe. This should only be done after the acute period of the injury has passed. Until then, heel cups can help alleviate the pressure on the Achilles. But once past the acute stage, I found zero drop shoes helped keep my calf and Achilles stretched.

If you are waking up in the AM and having problems getting going due to tightness, look into a night splint or boot that will keep your ankle @ 90* and keep everything stretched. More of a symptom relief vs. a problem resolution, but it can help wth the early morning pain.


Obviously the PRP treatment is an extreme measure. Try a little PT, specifically the calf drops first. You can also get a balance pad or BOSU ball and do some exercises on that to help build calf strength.

Fire away with any other questions!!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:744

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08/12/2014 07:37 PM
Get thee to a good sports med doc.
Serotta94

Posts:25

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08/13/2014 03:22 PM
Thanks CK.

My issue is fairly minor and may actually be just about gone. I am doing the eccentric calf work, having read about it a couple months ago. Took a few months off heavy hiking earlier in the year as well. Also having some body work done on the area. The pain is gone and I'm hiking up to 90 min with minimal issue at this point.

I feel like there may be some left over damage in the area though - scar tissue? So, I'm having some tissue work done to the area. Want to make sure that any sticking points are gone so I don't just get the same issue back when I start increasing distance again.
ChinookPass

Posts:494

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08/13/2014 03:27 PM
Serotta94, how/where did you injure it? Were you in the backcountry at the time?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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08/13/2014 03:32 PM
Look into some Graston work / therapy to help break up any remaining adhesions / scar tissue. Can be a big help in thsi regard. Can hurt like a mofo, though!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Serotta94

Posts:25

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08/14/2014 02:16 PM
Nothing that cool ChinookPass.

I was running stairs at lunch last fall and felt it a little. The pain was minor and not enough to make me stop. In a day or two it was gone. Started ramping up the hiking in January and would occasionally feel it, but again nothing major. Around March I did some longer training hikes (20 miles 6K' climbing) and a couple times it was sore for a day or two after. I would ice and take it easy and it would seem to be fine in short order.

Then came the week when it wasn't. It hurt all week and I decided to pull the plug on my plans. The pain was never that bad, but it was definitely inflamed by that point. I rested it for 3 months and did a half ass job at rehabbing it myself - ice, stretching, massage. Toward the end of that I added the eccentric calf work a few days a week.

In July I went to Italy and hiked that Alto Via 4 and felt it a bit on the first day, but it was fine after that. I'm now at a point of hiking a couple days per week for 90 min and it's mostly fine. I do feel like there's something not quite the same though. Whether or not that's scar tissue or adhesions or it's just not fully healed, I don't know. I've got no big plans for the rest of the year and plan to really work the eccentrics and add in more soft tissue work.

CK I have had some Graston work on my IT band in the past and remember it well. I'll look into that again.
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