It walks and quacks like an Achilles injury... but is it ?!

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Eduardo Suasteg, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. During the last mile of my Saturday 12 mile run, I began to experience pain around the Achilles
    area, toward the outside of my right heel, but almost dead center along the Achilles. Initially it
    felt like a blister or sore was developing from rubbing against the shoe (as has been my experience
    with other shoes), but then I realized it was more of a pulling sensation. Strange thing is: when I
    got home I noticed the pain went away when I walked barefoot but returned immediately when I tried
    to walk in any shoe--even my sandals gave me some discomfort. Again, the sensation begins with the
    feeling one gets from new leather shoes whose back is too stiff and digs into the heel/ankle area,
    but then proceeds to feel more like a strain, making even walking difficult. Today (Tuesday) it
    feels better, but I haven't tried going back to anything but sandals or barefootin'. Here are a
    couple of additional datapoints:

    1) I can do lower and upper calf stretches and even toe lift exercises without any pain.

    2) I can't reproduce the pain by pressing on the area with my hand.

    3) Yesterday, I used a bandaid (as if I had a blister/sore) and that seemed to all but do away with
    any discomfort the sandals caused while walking (shoes were still a no go, however).

    4) The shoes I was wearing when the pain first occurred have well over 100 miles (including a
    marathon), and is the 3rd pair of this model (ASICS Koji) I have worn in the course of a year, so
    it would surprise me if they were the cause.

    So... I'm puzzled. What is this thing? A bruise? I can't find any description that seems even
    remotely related to this injury. Any ideas?

    --
    Eduardo Suastegui "Test everything; Hold on to the good." (Remove 701 when replying via e-mail)

    --
    Eduardo Suastegui "Test everything; Hold on to the good." (Remove 701 when replying via e-mail)
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Eduardo Suastegui wrote:

    Ed, if you have achilles tendonitis, it will be sorest in the morning just after you get out of bed
    and walk around. Pay careful attention to those first few steps after you get out of bed -- you will
    notice it then, even if it's almost undetectable the rest of the time.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  3. On Tue, 01 Apr 2003 09:27:02 -0600, Eduardo Suastegui wrote:

    > During the last mile of my Saturday 12 mile run, I began to experience pain around the Achilles
    > area, toward the outside of my right heel, but almost dead center along the Achilles. Initially it
    > felt like a blister or sore was developing from rubbing against the shoe (as has been my
    > experience with other shoes), but then I realized it was more of a pulling sensation. Strange
    > thing is: when I got home I noticed the pain went away when I walked barefoot but returned
    > immediately when I tried to walk in any shoe--even my sandals gave me some discomfort. Again, the
    > sensation begins with the feeling one gets from new leather shoes whose back is too stiff and digs
    > into the heel/ankle area, but then proceeds to feel more like a strain, making even walking
    > difficult. Today (Tuesday) it feels better, but I haven't tried going back to anything but sandals
    > or barefootin'. Here are a couple of additional datapoints:
    >
    > 1) I can do lower and upper calf stretches and even toe lift exercises without any pain.
    >
    > 2) I can't reproduce the pain by pressing on the area with my hand.
    >
    > 3) Yesterday, I used a bandaid (as if I had a blister/sore) and that seemed to all but do away
    > with any discomfort the sandals caused while walking (shoes were still a no go, however).
    >
    > 4) The shoes I was wearing when the pain first occurred have well over 100 miles (including a
    > marathon), and is the 3rd pair of this model (ASICS Koji) I have worn in the course of a year,
    > so it would surprise me if they were the cause.
    >
    > So... I'm puzzled. What is this thing? A bruise? I can't find any description that seems even
    > remotely related to this injury. Any ideas?
    >
    > --
    > Eduardo Suastegui "Test everything; Hold on to the good." (Remove 701 when replying via e-mail)
    >
    >
    > --
    > Eduardo Suastegui "Test everything; Hold on to the good." (Remove 701 when replying via e-mail)

    Nah.. Joggers (9 min mile and up) are safe from this injury. Achilles affects only fast runners --
    you know the 5-minute-mile-tempo-run kind-of-guys. So you probably have something else. May I
    suggest inverted shin-splints,
     
  4. Summary: Caring for your Friend the Achilles Tendon

    The irritation of the Achilles Tendon is a symptom that something else is letting go. More often
    than not, it's the calf muscle that needs some loving attention.

    Caring for your Friend the Achilles Tendon by Austin Gontang, October 11, 2000

    Knowing About & Caring for Your Friend, The Achilles Tendon
    c.2000 Austin "Ozzie" Gontang, Ph.D.

    Asensenig wrote:

    I'm training for the Country Music Marathon in Nashville on April 29th and have developed a case of
    "mild" achilles tendonitis in my right leg. The pain is a dull ache right behind the ankle/just
    above the heel. My training for the marathon has been on schedule with long runs every other weeked,
    (the last one 20 miles) one interval session or tempo run per week, etc. (I'm a 47 year old male, 6
    feet, 200lbs, wear Gel Kayano's with orthotics. This is my fifth marathon. I average about 35 miles
    a week and stretch before and after each run.)
    >
    My questions is, how can I nurse this achilles tendon along for the next six weeks and still do what
    is necessary for the race? Any help, whether from personal experience with a similar problem or
    knowledge of this type of injury would be greatly appreciated. Thanks is advance for your response.

    I'd look to the calves be it soleus or the gastrocs to find the trigger point(s) where the calf is
    holding and causing the semi-relaxation of the calf so that the part of the calf that can't let go
    transmits the tension to the Achilles.

    The other thing I'd look to, is to see, if the shins on the right leg are tight which would mean
    that the right calf has to work against a semi-contracted antagonist muscle. So even if you loosen
    up the right calf the right shin is still causing the problem for the right calf.

    Then again since as you and I have talked about off and on, the tightness in the left quad or
    hamstring might be affecting the planting of the right foot which results in the calf problem being
    a result of the left leg...or tightness in the right illiopsoas.

    I went through the same diagnosis with my left calf early in '99. Ended up it was the fact that I
    was carrying an overweight rip stop nylon briefcase in my left hand. The excess weight tightened up
    my left shoulder. I also realized that when I was sitting at the computer, the chair I used which
    has arms, I would lean on my left elbow. The left elbow callous was the first dead giveaway. Looking
    in the mirror when going for my monthly body work session showed the lean to the left of my whole
    upper body.

    Some further thoughts:

    1. Is the soleus more slow than fast twitch? In my mind slow twitch muscles as mentioned are
    stabilizer or postural muscles. My reason for thinking that soleus is more fast twitch???

    2.I want the soleus to be strong and elongated. The problem often is that it is strong and
    semicontracted because of a portion of it bundled/adhesioned
    (i.e. the fascia around a section is holding and not allowing that portion of the soleus to go
    through its range of motion. So when you stretch the soleus, you stretch the portion that can
    stretch and not the portion bundled up with the adhering fascia...causing the good muscle
    fibers to overstretch and gradually join the bundle that can only partially let go.

    3. Remember the Achilles is tendon. Tendon is white and grisly which means there is minimal blood
    flow to that area. One reason tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon) doesn't heal quickly...lack
    of adequate blood flow...as one sees in red oxygen enriched muscle tissue.

    4. Yes on the massage of the soleus once the trauma has subsided

    5. One reason for icing muscles is that the cold constricts the vessels and then once the cold is
    stopped rich oxygenated blood flows back in to flush the area with its healing nutrients.

    6. I have some question in my mind about strengthening the calves...if it means that they are strong
    but shortened.

    7. There's always the question in my mind about doing the heels off the step so that the calves are
    put under a extreme strain. If the knot in the muscle doesn't get stretched the tension is passed
    along the healthy muscle fiber and then onto the minimally blood fed tendons.

    8. Also there is what is called the kinetic chain concerning the movements we make as various
    muscles fire in a certain pattern. Putting the calf under strain by the heels off the step, the
    slant boards, etc. might cause more problems then they solve, if the exerciser is doing the
    exercise and not thinking about the way the muscles fire in sequence to create movement.

    9. It's not what you know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know that just ain't so. If you're
    not thinking nor paying attention to your thinking body which knows how to move when you don't
    think about it, then you are creating your own injuries and blaming it on something else.

    And finally a web site talking about: It's the Calves Not the Achilles:

    Check out http://mindfulness/of1.asp

    You'll see how I use a railing to do the rolling from side to side all the way up and down the calf.
    Physical Therapists call it Transverse Friction...i.e. rubbing across the muscles in the area where
    it is knotted.

    Remember the inflammation of the Achilles tendons is often caused by the calves not letting go.
    That's why I would have some reservations about the calf raises. Calf raises would only shorten the
    calf muscles even more. We want elongated and strong, not shortened and strong calf muscles.

    Also tightness in the shins can also cause the calves to tighten unnecessarily. The front shin
    muscles should be relaxing maximally when the calf is contracting. . If the shin muscles can relax
    fully the calves have to work against muscles that cannot fully relax. When the shins are tight the
    calves have to work against a semi-contracted muscle.


    In article <[email protected]>, Eduardo Suastegui
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > During the last mile of my Saturday 12 mile run, I began to experience pain around the Achilles
    > area, toward the outside of my right heel, but almost dead center along the Achilles. Initially it
    > felt like a blister or sore was developing from rubbing against the shoe (as has been my
    > experience with other shoes), but then I realized it was more of a pulling sensation. Strange
    > thing is: when I got home I noticed the pain went away when I walked barefoot but returned
    > immediately when I tried to walk in any shoe--even my sandals gave me some discomfort. Again, the
    > sensation begins with the feeling one gets from new leather shoes whose back is too stiff and digs
    > into the heel/ankle area, but then proceeds to feel more like a strain, making even walking
    > difficult. Today (Tuesday) it feels better, but I haven't tried going back to anything but sandals
    > or barefootin'. Here are a couple of additional datapoints:
    >
    > 1) I can do lower and upper calf stretches and even toe lift exercises without any pain.
    >
    > 2) I can't reproduce the pain by pressing on the area with my hand.
    >
    > 3) Yesterday, I used a bandaid (as if I had a blister/sore) and that seemed to all but do away
    > with any discomfort the sandals caused while walking (shoes were still a no go, however).
    >
    > 4) The shoes I was wearing when the pain first occurred have well over 100 miles (including a
    > marathon), and is the 3rd pair of this model (ASICS Koji) I have worn in the course of a year,
    > so it would surprise me if they were the cause.
    >
    > So... I'm puzzled. What is this thing? A bruise? I can't find any description that seems even
    > remotely related to this injury. Any ideas?
    >
    > --
    > Eduardo Suastegui "Test everything; Hold on to the good." (Remove 701 when replying via e-mail)
    >
    >
    > --
    > Eduardo Suastegui "Test everything; Hold on to the good." (Remove 701 when replying via e-mail)
     
  5. Robert Karp

    Robert Karp Guest

    My symptoms were (are?) almost identical save for inside of my left ankle v. outside of the right
    heel as with you. My condition was diagnosed as Achilles tendonitis. In my case, the primary cause
    does seem to have been poor shoes. I've been getting gradual improvement since changing to another
    shoe. You may want to see a physician or therapist. Often one is instructed to stop running for
    awhile but that is not always necessary. I've managed to continue to run but it does slow the
    recovery process. As one other respondent stated, one of the hallmarks of this condition are the
    first few steps of the day. If they're really painful, it's probably AT.

    >"Eduardo Suastegui" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >During the last mile of my Saturday 12 mile run, I began to experience pain around the Achilles
    >area, toward the outside of my right heel, but almost dead center along the Achilles.
     
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