Achilles Tendon Problem....



lorrod

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Feb 7, 2005
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Has anyone ever injured their achilles tendon on the bike? Last week, I started feeling a sharp pain in my left achilles about 2.5 hours in to a 3.5 hour ride. During the last hour, the pain got progressively worse. The next day, the area was somewhat painful at work, but not too bad. However, that evening during another 2 hour ride, the pain was excruciating. The area around the achilles is slightly swollen and is painful to the touch, at the bottom of the downstroke and whenever I put too much weight on it - the worst being standing on my tip toes. Has anyone experienced this type of achilles problem, and if so, what was the diagnosis and how much time did you spend off of the bike? Thanks for any information you could provide!
 

hwttdz

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Sep 28, 2003
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I know my brother has had achilles problems. If it hasn't been too bad he has been able to wear an ankle brace type thing which seems to help take some of the strain off of it. I suppose this would also be a good preventative but you wouldn't be able to generate the same power. He says he's been able to swim with no problems at all. So if you swim at all, I'd say swim for a little bit and then once you're near 100% try cycling with a brace, if it gets worse back off again.

The brace he uses looks sort of like a sock without toes, it's canvas, and you put your foot in and lace it up. Best of luck.
 

blaker

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Aug 25, 2004
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hwttdz said:
I know my brother has had achilles problems. If it hasn't been too bad he has been able to wear an ankle brace type thing which seems to help take some of the strain off of it. I suppose this would also be a good preventative but you wouldn't be able to generate the same power. He says he's been able to swim with no problems at all. So if you swim at all, I'd say swim for a little bit and then once you're near 100% try cycling with a brace, if it gets worse back off again.

The brace he uses looks sort of like a sock without toes, it's canvas, and you put your foot in and lace it up. Best of luck.
i am just now recovering from a ruptured achilles - five months in a cast and on crutches. it was not a fun time. i would not fool around with it. go see an orthapedic specialist ASAP. if it is torn, it can heal, but if you rupture it BAD NEWS.

several years ago my brother-in-law complained about his achilles several weeks later he was walking and it snapped. his foot does not have the flexability he once did.

i was fortunate to have the head of sports medicine do my operation and after rehab i have full use of my foot. but the doctor told me the swelling would be there (in my leg) for a year or more.

GOOD LUCK.
 

Bike N Ski

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May 4, 2005
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lorrod said:
Has anyone ever injured their achilles tendon on the bike? Last week, I started feeling a sharp pain in my left achilles about 2.5 hours in to a 3.5 hour ride. During the last hour, the pain got progressively worse. The next day, the area was somewhat painful at work, but not too bad. However, that evening during another 2 hour ride, the pain was excruciating. The area around the achilles is slightly swollen and is painful to the touch, at the bottom of the downstroke and whenever I put too much weight on it - the worst being standing on my tip toes. Has anyone experienced this type of achilles problem, and if so, what was the diagnosis and how much time did you spend off of the bike? Thanks for any information you could provide!
I experienced that last year(my first year biking in over 20 yrs.) after I had about 1800-1900 miles on the bike. I was doing low cadence/high gear power intervals(about 5) for the first time about half way through the ride. The last third of the ride was at a higher cadence and thats when I first noticed the sore achilles. That night it felt like a rubber band being stretched when I walked around. The next day was a short ride with a lot of pain. I took the rest of the week(4 days) off and started back up on the flats with a high cadence. Minor pain continued but got better over a 2 week period of shorter(45-60 mile) rides(about 4) avoiding any hills. I didn't find any useful therapy other than stretching and light tibia curling on a machine at the gym. Finished off the season (2400 miles) with no problems. Today was only my second ride of the year and I had a very minor pain in that same achilles. I immediately switched to a lower gear and finished the ride with a higher cadence(97 avg). and presently the achilles feels tight but not painful. I'm in my late 40's so I don't heal as quick as I used to. But with all injuries, listen to your body and go easy.
 

Ashley3

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Feb 10, 2004
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I agree that having a medical type take a look is a good idea.
I've had problems in the past. The most important thing to know is that if it gets bad there's no alternative to simply taking time off until it gets better. The tendon runs though a sheath, and the tendon swells when its feeling abused through overuse. When it swells, the swelling gets trapped inside the sheath, which can't expand to accommodate it. At my worst, I once had something that felt like a peeble in my achilles that didn't go away for weeks! To avoid this, first let yourself heal. Then stretch both before and after your ride. I hang on a curb or a stair, lowering the back of the foot until the tendon stretches to the max. I do six minutes before and after every ride, and if there's any soreness I do it in the course of the day whenever the time and a good thing to hang from present themselves. And whenever I get a twinge of pain, I ice like a madman. You can get an elastic pouch with a resusable ice pack that's designed precisely for the achilles tendon.
 

wolfgang

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Feb 19, 2004
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I currently have achilles tendinitis myself. I've been doing just about everything in the book to get over it. I'd just like to add that if you ice your AT, don't walk immediately afterwards. You should let it "thaw" first. I've heard that walking right after icing can make your AT worse.
 

blaker

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Aug 25, 2004
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whatever you do, believe me, you do NOT want the AT to snap. While the operation is no big deal, the amount of time, in a cast and on crutches, is not worth it. I was in a cast for 5 months and rehab for 2 months. I won't even go into the rehab, only to say it is a real nightmare with unbelieveable pain. Two of my friends told me that they passed-out from the pain during rehab. My leg is still swollen and the doctor said it would probably take from a year to a year and a half to return to normal. I'm 63 years old and play ice hockey 3 days a week and with bike riding and roller blading, my legs are abnormally large. while i was on crutches i did crunches, sit-up and leg lifts (with a weight attached to my cast) to try and stay in shape. While the thigh on my injured leg did not lose to much muscle i could not believe what happened to my calf. It' been 9 months since the operation and my foot is still weak even though I'm back to playing hockey and riding my bike. the best advice i can give you is SEE A DOCTOR then you will KNOW what to do to save your AT. Best of luck to all of you - the Achilles in nothing to fool around with. I was very lucky, I got all my movement back, many people don't. But I never worked so hard in my life to regain the movement of my foot and still don't have the "kick" in my skating stride and consequently my speed is not what it should be.

wolfgang said:
I currently have achilles tendinitis myself. I've been doing just about everything in the book to get over it. I'd just like to add that if you ice your AT, don't walk immediately afterwards. You should let it "thaw" first. I've heard that walking right after icing can make your AT worse.
 

wolfgang

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Feb 19, 2004
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Thanks for the warning. I did see a doctor a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure when my tendinitis started, but I first began to notice it as a problem about six months ago, thinking it was normal soreness associated with starting an exercise routine. I thus believed that the soreness would eventually go away as I got more fit.

Basically, the doctor prescribed naprosyn (an anti-inflammatory) and advised that I purchase some basketball shoes to help support my heel. He also gave me a lace-up brace and told me to avoid stairs, bike-riding, etc. I've recently purchased another brace (http://www.footsmart.com/Product.aspx?ProductId=52) and I'm waiting for it to arrive.

blaker said:
whatever you do, believe me, you do NOT want the AT to snap. While the operation is no big deal, the amount of time, in a cast and on crutches, is not worth it. I was in a cast for 5 months and rehab for 2 months. I won't even go into the rehab, only to say it is a real nightmare with unbelieveable pain. Two of my friends told me that they passed-out from the pain during rehab. My leg is still swollen and the doctor said it would probably take from a year to a year and a half to return to normal. I'm 63 years old and play ice hockey 3 days a week and with bike riding and roller blading, my legs are abnormally large. while i was on crutches i did crunches, sit-up and leg lifts (with a weight attached to my cast) to try and stay in shape. While the thigh on my injured leg did not lose to much muscle i could not believe what happened to my calf. It' been 9 months since the operation and my foot is still weak even though I'm back to playing hockey and riding my bike. the best advice i can give you is SEE A DOCTOR then you will KNOW what to do to save your AT. Best of luck to all of you - the Achilles in nothing to fool around with. I was very lucky, I got all my movement back, many people don't. But I never worked so hard in my life to regain the movement of my foot and still don't have the "kick" in my skating stride and consequently my speed is not what it should be.