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ongoing achilles problems

(10 Posts)
Fresheye Tue 16-Aug-11 19:14:09

Just wondered if anyone could give me any advice on an ongoing achilles heel problem.
Ive been running off and on for about 3 years. The problem first started about 2 years ago when i started training for a half marathon. As i increased my mileage in training up to about 10 miles my achillies started playing up but stupidly i carried on hoping it would disappear (i know, i know!)
I ended up having to withdraw from the race and didnt run for a few months. I then paid for orthotics (expensive!) started running again but the same thing happened. I then paid for a physio who gave me lots of exercises and hand made some orthotics using foam and tape but the achilles pain started playing up during every day activites such as walking.
I stopped running again but ive ended up getting a ballot place in the 2012 london marathon and really want to do it. I went out for a run this evening, just two miles, with achilles strap, orthotics and a heel lift and i can feel it aching already!
Do I just need to accept that my body cant handle running? I really dont want this to be the case but also dont want my stubborness to cause a major injury either!
Any help or advice much appreciated. TIA

Fresheye Tue 16-Aug-11 19:44:21


Fresheye Tue 16-Aug-11 21:40:20

No one? sad

MrsWednesday Tue 16-Aug-11 21:48:16

What sort of stretches are you doing? Do you do any icing or anything else? If it keeps happening it sounds like there is an imbalance somewhere, did your physio look at your hips or calves? What about your trainers, have you tried different types? I found ASICS caused me achilles problems (or made them worse) but am fine with Brooks.

Sorry for all the questions!

I sympathise as I'm a runner who seems to be permanently injured! I have achilles problems too and it took a good few weeks of proper calf stretches, icing every day and cutting back my mileage considerably before it got better.

Fresheye Tue 16-Aug-11 22:00:27

I don't ice actually, I always think it won't do anything sufficient enough blush but I'll try it. When? After a run? Yes, the physio did look at hips/ calves etc. I am a bit unbalanced (I cant remember exactly what he said now, he blinded me a bit with science). But between the orthotics and these hip strengthening exercises he gave me, they should have helped. He did say calf muscles were tight. I am stretching calf and Achilles before running and doing those eccentric load exercises during the day.
The trainers should be ok. Checked by physio on a proper analysis machine, but maybe it is a bit of trial and error.
When you say you cut back dramatically on mileage, have you increased it again? With what effect if so?
I just feel like I've spent a fortune on podiatrists, physios, orthotics, trainers, heel lifts, Achilles straps etc and I'm still getting the pain! Sooo frustrating! Thank you for your response.

MorganMindy Tue 16-Aug-11 22:09:26

Hi Fresheye, I had lots of problems with a tight soleus causing shin splints but also made my achilles play up at times. My physio told me to ice during the 24 hours after running and then heat packs after that. The theory being that the ice reduces the initial swelling and then the heat encourages blood flow and therefore healing.
The only thing that has fixed it properly though is stretching the calf and soleus every day, whether I've run or not. I also backed right off the mileage and increased it again very very gradually.
That and taking my high heels off under my desk at work and rotating my ankles as much as I can remember to do. I also walk around the house barefoot as much as possible to offset the bad effects of the high heels. I know I shouldn't wear them but as a shorty I look frumpy if I don't!
Anyway, hope you find a solution soon and good luck for the marathon!

MrsWednesday Tue 16-Aug-11 22:10:30

I just iced my leg once a day, usually at bed time - lay in bed with the ice pack under my achilles (good excuse to lie down and do nothing!) and it seemed to help. I think you should perhaps stretch after running too, before the muscles have had time to cool down.

I had to stop running completely for 3 weeks, which as I was in the middle of training for my first marathon, was very annoying. I saw a physio, did calf and achilles stretches, used a foam roller on my IT band and built the mileage back up fairly quickly once I felt better. And I did manage the marathon in the end!

There are lots of very helpful ladies on the running thread who will also be able to give you great advice - you should pop along there too.

Fresheye Tue 16-Aug-11 22:20:57

Ok, so icing and stretching. It seems too easy grin I've got a foam roller so will get on that too. And will join the running thread. Thank you. So annoying when your body let's you down. Getting old see, should have started this fitness lark when i was all young and supple!

MrsWednesday Tue 16-Aug-11 22:50:38

Fingers crossed it works smile

Oh and only increasing your mileage by 10% per week, with built in rest weeks. More knowledgeable ladies on the running thread will help. I am also old and injured more often than not, so totally share your frustrations.

Butterbur Mon 22-Aug-11 13:45:00

The eccentric loading exercises worked for me - I assume you mean the standing on the stairs thing, slowly lowering yourself down. I did it twice a day, three sets of 10, one leg at a time. I've also heard of people doing it with backpacks of weights on to increase the loading. It took about 6 months before the tendonitis really went though.

That was 2 years ago, and it hasn't come back yet (touch wood).

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