New to achilles strain; treatment advice sought

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Chuck, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck Guest

    Greetings all!

    Context first, question at end.

    I am a 43-yr old male (6'3", 170 lbs) who has been running for fitness
    since I was a teen, and I have never had serious running-related
    ailments. I have always lived in hilly areas, and I have almost always
    had the same kind of running paradigm: Walk from my house down a steep
    hill to a country road; run casually on the intial flat section; then
    run hard on the uphill part of the run back to my home. The part of
    the run on which I run hard is usually only about 2 miles. I favor
    this model of running because I avoid too much downhill pounding on my
    knees.

    For some reason (perhaps because I started running a little longer
    recently) I have recently developed some achilles strain in both ankles
    (much more on the right rather than the left side however). I think
    this may have been coming on for a awhile...I would sometimes feel a
    little twinge of pain in my achilles (on the right) at the steepest
    part of my run, right near the end, and rather than push it, I would
    stop and walk the last hundred yards or so. This went on for a while
    being only an occasional minor irritation. [For the record, the pain
    is not low on the tendon, where it attaches to the heel; the pain is
    right in the middle of the tendon, straight back from where the ankle
    bone sticks out on either side]

    However, now I get the pain very early in the run, or simply when I
    wake up in the morning, etc. I do stretch tolerably well I think...but
    I guess I could increase my stretching a bit. I laid off running for
    about 5 days, but that appeared to be nowhere nearly enough rest as the
    problem reccurred as soon as I ran again. There isn't tons of
    pain...fortunately...but just enough to let me know that I ought to
    quit before I tear something. I have never felt anything "snap" and
    when I am walking around in the normal course of the day, I rarely
    notice anything. For the record, I Nordic-Tracked last night, and
    this did cause any pain in my achilles whatsoever.

    I presume I will need to rest the achilles for a while longer...maybe I
    will start testing it again with light runs in a month. I know people
    recommend icing it, which I will try, but in truth, I have never found
    ice that useful (exept in cocktails).

    My main questions are: What kind of wraps or orthotics are recommended
    to help the tendons heal and prevent them from being reaggravated when
    I start trying to run again? There seems to be tons of stuff
    available, but I want to make sure that I don't waste money on a
    worthless product. Also, how can I tell if I have torn the tendon,
    versus just strained it? Do tears heal on their own, as long as the
    tendon isn't totally ruptured?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    Chuck
     
    Tags:


  2. if you've no discoloration, swelling, and can rotate your ankle around
    pain free (ever), and just are not in constant pain...i highly doubt
    you have a tear.

    but even if severly strained/bruised....this merits x-rays and a vist
    to a physician, especially at your age.

    don't procrastinate on this one...one wrong step off a curb and you can
    seriously be looking at 2 operations & a very long time before you run
    again.
     
  3. Dan Stumpus

    Dan Stumpus Guest

    "Chuck" <[email protected]> wrote

    I occasionally get Achilles pains, and Ice works miracles.

    Get one of those flexible ice packs (in drug stores) and ice for 2 min on/2
    min off X 3 several times a day.

    The key thing is to never run when it hurts -- if you can't slow down enough
    to make it stop, then walk. If you don't run with it, and ice it, the
    problem often goes away very quickly -- in a couple of days. Then gradually
    ramp up the intensity or hills over a week or so (all the while icing).

    I've found that the "stair stretch" works to prevent problems. The calf
    muscles can get too tight, and cause too much pull on the tendon. Step up
    to the first stair, with the ball of your foot near the edge, and let the
    heel fall below the step, using just your body weight (no bouncing). Hold
    for 15 secs.
     
  4. Parker Race

    Parker Race Guest

    "Dan Stumpus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Chuck" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > I occasionally get Achilles pains, and Ice works miracles.
    >
    > Get one of those flexible ice packs (in drug stores) and ice for 2 min
    > on/2 min off X 3 several times a day.
    >
    > The key thing is to never run when it hurts -- if you can't slow down
    > enough to make it stop, then walk. If you don't run with it, and ice it,
    > the problem often goes away very quickly -- in a couple of days. Then
    > gradually ramp up the intensity or hills over a week or so (all the while
    > icing).
    >
    > I've found that the "stair stretch" works to prevent problems. The calf
    > muscles can get too tight, and cause too much pull on the tendon. Step
    > up to the first stair, with the ball of your foot near the edge, and let
    > the heel fall below the step, using just your body weight (no bouncing).
    > Hold for 15 secs.
    >



    http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/023_05_achilles_tendinosis.html
     
  5. Parker Race

    Parker Race Guest

    "Dan Stumpus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Chuck" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > I occasionally get Achilles pains, and Ice works miracles.
    >
    > Get one of those flexible ice packs (in drug stores) and ice for 2 min
    > on/2 min off X 3 several times a day.
    >
    > The key thing is to never run when it hurts -- if you can't slow down
    > enough to make it stop, then walk. If you don't run with it, and ice it,
    > the problem often goes away very quickly -- in a couple of days. Then
    > gradually ramp up the intensity or hills over a week or so (all the while
    > icing).
    >
    > I've found that the "stair stretch" works to prevent problems. The calf
    > muscles can get too tight, and cause too much pull on the tendon. Step
    > up to the first stair, with the ball of your foot near the edge, and let
    > the heel fall below the step, using just your body weight (no bouncing).
    > Hold for 15 secs.
    >



    http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/023_05_achilles_tendinosis.html
     
  6. I have had achilles pain in past years, and I have found stretching crucial
    in getting it to go away. I stretch it by finding a tree growing on a hill,
    and leaning against it from the down-hill side. And I have learned never to
    stretch before exercise - only after thoroughly warming up. At least 20
    minutes into the run.

    "Dan Stumpus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Chuck" <[email protected]> wrote
    >


    > I've found that the "stair stretch" works to prevent problems. The calf
    > muscles can get too tight, and cause too much pull on the tendon. Step
    > up to the first stair, with the ball of your foot near the edge, and let
    > the heel fall below the step, using just your body weight (no bouncing).
    > Hold for 15 secs.
    >
     
  7. I have had achilles pain in past years, and I have found stretching crucial
    in getting it to go away. I stretch it by finding a tree growing on a hill,
    and leaning against it from the down-hill side. And I have learned never to
    stretch before exercise - only after thoroughly warming up. At least 20
    minutes into the run.

    "Dan Stumpus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Chuck" <[email protected]> wrote
    >


    > I've found that the "stair stretch" works to prevent problems. The calf
    > muscles can get too tight, and cause too much pull on the tendon. Step
    > up to the first stair, with the ball of your foot near the edge, and let
    > the heel fall below the step, using just your body weight (no bouncing).
    > Hold for 15 secs.
    >
     
  8. anders

    anders Guest

    Dan Stumpus wrote:

    > The key thing is to never run when it hurts -- if you can't slow down enough
    > to make it stop, then walk. If you don't run with it, and ice it, the
    > problem often goes away very quickly -- in a couple of days. Then gradually
    > ramp up the intensity or hills over a week or so (all the while icing).


    What is your policy of running when it doesn't hurt during or
    immediately after, but hurts in the following morning? Would you treat
    that as a red or a yellow warning sign?

    FWIW the folklore here is that middle-aged runners can safely neglect
    those morning aches and pains - they are just nature's way of telling
    you that you aren't young anymore - but OTOH if you can hear a distinct
    creak of the tendon when you bend the ankle, you should see a doc
    ASAP: it's serious, you need a serious rest and chances are the usual
    remedies won't work and you may need to have an operation to "clean"
    the tendon.


    > I've found that the "stair stretch" works to prevent problems. The calf
    > muscles can get too tight, and cause too much pull on the tendon. Step up
    > to the first stair, with the ball of your foot near the edge, and let the
    > heel fall below the step, using just your body weight (no bouncing). Hold
    > for 15 secs.


    Here a popular method is to use the kind of "stretch board" pictured
    (about midpage on the left) in page
    http://www.juoksija-lehti.fi/Default.aspx?tabid=829 - you are supposed
    to hold the stretch "up to several minutes".


    Anders
     
  9. anders

    anders Guest

    Dan Stumpus wrote:

    > The key thing is to never run when it hurts -- if you can't slow down enough
    > to make it stop, then walk. If you don't run with it, and ice it, the
    > problem often goes away very quickly -- in a couple of days. Then gradually
    > ramp up the intensity or hills over a week or so (all the while icing).


    What is your policy of running when it doesn't hurt during or
    immediately after, but hurts in the following morning? Would you treat
    that as a red or a yellow warning sign?

    FWIW the folklore here is that middle-aged runners can safely neglect
    those morning aches and pains - they are just nature's way of telling
    you that you aren't young anymore - but OTOH if you can hear a distinct
    creak of the tendon when you bend the ankle, you should see a doc
    ASAP: it's serious, you need a serious rest and chances are the usual
    remedies won't work and you may need to have an operation to "clean"
    the tendon.


    > I've found that the "stair stretch" works to prevent problems. The calf
    > muscles can get too tight, and cause too much pull on the tendon. Step up
    > to the first stair, with the ball of your foot near the edge, and let the
    > heel fall below the step, using just your body weight (no bouncing). Hold
    > for 15 secs.


    Here a popular method is to use the kind of "stretch board" pictured
    (about midpage on the left) in page
    http://www.juoksija-lehti.fi/Default.aspx?tabid=829 - you are supposed
    to hold the stretch "up to several minutes".


    Anders
     
  10. Dan Stumpus

    Dan Stumpus Guest

    "anders" <[email protected]> wrote

    > What is your policy of running when it doesn't hurt during or
    > immediately after, but hurts in the following morning? Would you treat
    > that as a red or a yellow warning sign?


    Yes. I'd ice it, stretch, and not run hard or on hills until the am pains
    went away.
    My worst Achilles problem (when 32) was a result of ignoring mild and
    delayed warning pains. I was out of racing action for 7 weeks.

    > FWIW the folklore here is that middle-aged runners can safely neglect
    > those morning aches and pains - they are just nature's way of telling
    > you that you aren't young anymore


    Funny, I've found the opposite to be true. The first walk to the bathroom
    after waking up is performed very slowly...but after a minute or two, I feel
    great. I'm 54, and no longer train 95mpw w/2xspeedwork as I did in my
    prime, but I still run 65-70 mpw at a slower pace. I have no chronic aches
    and pains now, but when I was in my 30's I was sore most of the time,
    somewhere. I needed to massage my hips/hams/glutes for 10-15 minutes a day
    when I was training hard.

    - but OTOH if you can hear a distinct
    > creak of the tendon when you bend the ankle, you should see a doc
    > ASAP: it's serious, you need a serious rest and chances are the usual
    > remedies won't work and you may need to have an operation to "clean"
    > the tendon.


    Fortunately, I've never had something like that, but I wonder if that isn't
    the result of ignoring mild to moderate pains for years.

    -- Dan
     
  11. anders wrote:

    > .....FWIW the folklore here is that middle-aged runners can safely neglect
    > those morning aches and pains - they are just nature's way of telling
    > you that you aren't young anymore.....



    As a 56 year old fitness runner I beg to differ. I worked in heavy
    industry until about age 40. Your body takes a pounding doing physical
    work on a daily basis and I actually felt worse in my 20s and 30s.
    Chronic aches or pains aren't a problem at this time in my life and I'm
    pleased at how the body is holding up.
     
  12. It

    It Guest

    On 24 Nov 2005 15:10:53 -0800, "[email protected]"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >As a 56 year old fitness runner I beg to differ. I worked in heavy
    >industry until about age 40. Your body takes a pounding doing physical
    >work on a daily basis and I actually felt worse in my 20s and 30s.
    >Chronic aches or pains aren't a problem at this time in my life and I'm
    >pleased at how the body is holding up.


    So now you're a "loafer", welfare cheat, and you expect praise?
     
  13. What industry,
    AB ~ ?
     
  14. Twittering One wrote:
    > What industry,
    > AB ~ ?


    Steel.
     
  15. It

    It Guest

  16. On 25 Nov 2005 19:06:33 -0800, "[email protected]"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Steel or possibly the effects of black market nuclear viagra.


    Then explain her breasts. They are magnificent, no sagging, and
    gravity seems to have no effect on them even though she's upside down.
     
  17. I'll second that. 43 years of age is still very young in the scheme of
    things. Unless your obese you should be stronger and your body in
    better integrity than you were at 23. I would take some rests day and
    it should go away. I have run up a steep hill in my area and got
    similar pains. When I stopped running up that hill the pain went away.
    If your pain doesn't go away after rest days you should see a doctor.
     
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