Recovering from Achilles Tendonitis

Thanks for the rec on the brace, I like wearing it, and it seems to help. We’ve been doing a lot of reno projects and I’m definitely less likely to have pain when I’m wearing it.

I took two weeks off the bike and skis. It felt really good at the end, then randomly flared up one night, then gone again the next day, which seems odd. I’ve been doing eccentric heel drops, and my left calf is extremely sore, which seems strange, almost feels like doms, or there’s something strained in the upper calf. Maybe they are just super in need of work. That was only up to 20 heel drops, did them on both legs and the right doesnt feel nearly as bad. Going to just keep massaging.

The worrying thing, I hopped on the trainer 2 nights ago, and 15 minutes in became instantly aware of the tendon. Not pain, but aware, after not noticing it during the prior week of rest, or even the one powder day backcountry ski. Makes me think the bike is the issue. I did swap to my enduro shoes (cleats further back) after, and didnt notice it get worse over the next 30 min. I took some video and didnt notice anything. My ankle pretty much stays at 90 degrees around the entire pedal stroke.

Admittedly this is likely overreacting on my part, but having suffered from it, keep an eye on it and make sure it is not a DVT / blood clot. I highly doubt it is, but be aware of any redness / swelling. My DVT occurred while I was in a walking boot trying to treat my Achilles issues.

As for bike setup, get your cleats back as far as you can (I know you said they were farther back on the enduro setup, but get’em ALL the way back) and maybe try lowering your saddle a few MM, no more than 5, and see how that feels.

Glad the brace is helping!

Thanks to everyone who contributed their experience in this thread. I’m 3 weeks out from an achilles injury. Dropping my saddle 4.5mm, eccentric heel drops, and foam rolling seem to have done the trick-- I’m almost back to 100% now.

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Does anyone else have any positive experience with massage guns for achilles issues?
I’ve been using one regularly for a few months now, and it seems to help minimise inflammation and soreness.

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The literature on PRP for Achilles tears and tendonitis is questionable at best. There are studies that shows it works, problem is so much of it is industry funded, it’s hard to know what’s real… in the USA, it’s not covered by insurance and it’s wicked expensive. There’s money to be made, there’s people that are gonna figure out how to make it look like it works.

I’ve done a few on folks that want it, and they seem to do well, but people heal Achilles ruptures just fine without it too.

For chronic Achilles tendonitis, it’s almost always a tension issue. Calf muscles are too tight. PT is still the gold standard as far as I’m concerned. Vigorous calf stretching is your best bet. When that doesn’t work, surgery for gastroc lengthening and possible tendon debridement/posterior spur excision.

The other thing that needs to be looked at is could PRP be carcinogenic. There’s plenty of literature to show it helps healing for certain injuries, the question to be learned is when does it shut off

What @Chawski mentioned above about calf tightness rings true for me. Foam rolling my calves is like performing magic for me when I get Achilles issues - some mornings I wake up and can litterally not walk - 15 mins foam rolling completely eleviates it.

What I need to get better at is not waiting until I cant walk before doing anything about it.

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Have you tried sleeping in a night brace? Makes a big difference in early morning tightness.

No but just googled and could see how that would be beneficial…

…bit of a passion killer though?

Just slap it on after…:crazy_face:

It can take awhile to get used to….a lot of people will end up taking it off in the middle of the night. Keep with it and you’ll adjust.

Also get the kind that looks more like a walking boot….provides better support, IME.

Very positive. It helped me both in the short-term tension but also in the long-term tightness of the upper part of the calves. Once, I did a particularly long and energetic session on the calves and since then the “maintenance” has been easier.

If crocs can stay on, the night splint can too! Hahaha

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Hey everyone… just checking in here. I have been battling Achilles tendonitis since December 2021. I’ve gone through two different rounds of Physical Therapy (two different therapists), and I am currently on a strength training program with the second PT who is also a strength coach. (Been with him since about August 2022.)

I still have good and bad weeks. A very good week was at the end of December, I completed a 260-mile ride with a fair bit of climbing, and had no pain or swelling in my Achilles afterwards. (Gradually increased weekly volume to be able to get to that point.)

However, this week has been a tough week for me, as it started with pain (3-4/10) and swelling of my Achilles tendon on Sunday. I did a 128-mile endurance pace ride on a flat course on Saturday. Given my recent history, I don’t think the ride is what set it off, but I don’t know what did. It just seems “random” to me, and it is very frustrating and depressing. The last flare up that I had was over two months ago. I often wonder if I will ever return to “normal.” I hate it!

Anyway, looks like a lot of good tips in the discussion here; many of which I have heard before, but some of them I haven’t. It is certainly encouraging to hear from those who have struggled with this injury and overcome it. Thank you.

I got round to trying this… it’s brilliant :+1:

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Awesome…glad it helped!!!

One thing that doesn’t seem to have been mentioned above, but helped me, is foam rolling the top end of the chain. Rolling just the legs would ease things in the short term, but had a very temporary effect - it was only once I started including the back and shoulders that it really got under control. Even though the legs (particularly calves) were where I was feeling tightness, it appears the problem was originating in the back and cascading down to result in achilles problems.