Recovering from Achilles Tendonitis

Sure, thanks. Will try. As much as I hate to, I am at the verge of hanging my cycling boot as 1+ yr off saddle (since Dec’18) is quite frustrating. Especially, when I don’t see anything I tried help in even reducing the bulge and swell around the bulge (did the bulge go away completely for you? I read somewhere about calcification)

Bulge is gone as is the creaking or squeaky feeling that I would feel in the tendon if I held onto it while raising and lowering my heel. I can also tell that the micro-tears in the tendon that I was able to feel are gone, it feels smooth like my other one.

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I have been meaning for some time to share how well some of the ideas in this thread this worked for me after severely aggravating my achilles during a severe TSS overload week in Mallorca on a rental bike.

I had gotten to the point of swelling and creakiness (crepitus) in the right tendon - something I had never experienced in a few years of cycling ~5k miles/year. The rental bike and workload I’m sure both contributed, but the problem persisted when I got back home.

In brief - the things that worked for me were:

  • Cleats slightly back and seat slightly down - immediately reduced severity of pain/swelling following rides and I was able to get back to base riding. In recent months, I’ve taken seat back up a bit but will revisit cleats at next bike fit.
  • KT tape - I was surprised how much this helped. One strip placed under tension from bottom of heel to about 1 foot up along back of leg, a second strip from ankle to ankle coming around the back - this got me riding again with really no issues at all - used it for about a month after the cleat/seat adjust.
  • Eccentric heel drops as well documented in this thread - done on edge of stair - I progressed to 3x15 per side - only did these for a few weeks and they made a big difference in not even needing the tape anymore.

The internet is full of people telling you that trying to manage a problem like this yourself will result in catastrophic failure, broken tendons, a year off your bike, and maybe imminent death if you don’t see a specialist and PT. It doesn’t always have to be that complicated :slight_smile: That being said, I would not have tried to manage this on my own if it was a sudden impact injury.

Great thread, Anthony!

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I’m late to this thread, but have a wealth of experience with Achilles issues…

  1. +100 on eccentric heel drops. They are the critical element in overcoming Achilles issues.

  2. When doing the drops, do not raise back up on the injured leg. Raise up on your good leg, place the injured leg down, pick up the good leg and lower on a 3-5 count. switch back to the good leg and raise back up. Start with body weight and then add weight. I used a back back with dumbbells tossed in. If you never add the extra weight, you are wasting your time.

  3. Put your cleats back as far as possible on your shoes. It will help minimize strain on the Achilles while riding. I have never moved mine back and this was over 10 years ago.

  4. Riding was alway therapeutic for me…as long as I stayed in the saddle. Standing is a big no-no when you have Achilles issues.

  5. Swimming was wonderfully therapeutic. I always felt great getting out of the pool. (Points 4&5 are possibly very individualistic…consult your doc)

  6. Don’t neglect your glutes in your strengthening routine. The root cause of Achilles issues can often be weak glutes.

  7. For me, finding the flattest possible shoes was a game changer. I had been doing heel lifts, shoes with substantial heel-to-toe drop, etc. Never helped…but once I started wearing completely flat shoes, I could walk better within a short time. My favorites were Sanuk canvas shoes. Barely any sole at all and 100% flat. This is likely to be very controversial as most will tell you the opposite. If you are stuck, consider it as an option, but be careful.

Good luck to any that are struggling with this injury…it sucks, but you can overcome it.

Hey, thanks. Glad you found this beneficial. Being injured can be incredibly frustrating and depressing, especially if you have gone through the long (and expensive) traditional route of a diagnosis from a general practice doctor, referral to a specialist and then a physical therapist.

It can be a huge time and monetary investment only to find zero relief. I’ve done this before and it’s not fun.

My right achilles hasn’t flared up since I invested a good 12-14 weeks of the work I listed above. It will get a little “tight” from long/hard rides, but nothing a good calf roll session can’t help with. I love using a 32oz Nalgene bottle to roll out my tendons and calves. Helps A LOT to relieve tension.