Definitely C. Wearing shoes without heel cup has helped the last few days
C is where mine has pain, and a little bump there too is visible…KT Taping has really helped in my case.
That’s where mine flares up too. A couple of things that have helped me:
- Don’t do calf stretches. It irritates the Achilles in that area.
- Spend lots of time standing on your tippy toes (static calf raises). I do this when doing the dishes/brushing my teeth/on zoom calls/etc.
- Continue doing calf raises, but don’t drop your heel below level (foot into dorsiflexion). Start with your heels on a book or 2x4. If you can move to weighted calf raises, the better.
- Continue to run, but avoid low or zero drop shoes
- Lowering saddle (mine was too high causing toe pointing while pedaling)
- Finding everyday shoes to avoid pressure in the sensitive area. This is mostly for pain management.
The common thing here is to avoid anything that forces the foot into dorsiflexion (toes up) as it causes the bottom part of the Achilles to smash into the heel bone and the bursa sack that lives there.
I’m curious, how do you tape it? Point toes down slightly and tape from the bottom of the heel up the back of the leg?
So, there is something called Haglund’s deformity. I dont know if you ever heard of it before. Its a huge problem. Gwen Jorgensen got surgery to correct it. I think this is what one of my running buddies have (no matter how much time off he gets, he always have heel/achilles pain).
Not saying thats what you have, but maybe look into it.
Toes pointing upwards, I follow the method on the KT site KT Tape: Achilles Tendonitis - YouTube I find it gives a bit of support, probably the way its been stretched it slightly assists with the loading on the foot. As mentioned before I now get away with just a piece horizontally when required, it goes across the back of the Achilles and I miss out the first long piece from the underside of the foot to the back of the calf.
Maybe that piece across just pushes the slight bump in and stops anything aggravating it now or makes it connect better? I’ve given up trying to understand it all and happy to know it’s a solution for me when pain starts to increase in that area.
I only use zero drop, but have found that pain increases using my Altra Olympus 4’s . When using my five finger shoes things are better, it might we the weight of the footwear or just the minimal shoes let my feet feel the ground and land better… all guess work here!
So this description is exactly what I’ve experienced over the last few months. Irritation, not improvement, with stretching. Baaaad results from zero drop shoes (progressively more irritation and got out of them after a few hours). Pain and regression when doing the eccentric exercises and dropping too low but feeling fine and strong the rest of the range of motion. Not healing with rest. I’m avoiding any pressure with heel cups or rigid shoes for the foreseeable future, which seemed to really irritate it, and I’m going to start doing some very slow running and walking to start strengthening it up. I also have had no luck letting tendinous and ligamentous injuries rest so that they can heal. It seems to do the opposite.
Thanks all for the responses! It is so helpful to have a body of experience to query. Doctors are obviously helpful (my wife and I are both MDs lol), but they don’t always really understand stuff like aerobic training and overuse injuries, especially if you don’t want injections or surgery.
PS Haglund’s is something to consider, but I don’t have any protrusions or swelling.
Brutal man… I feel for ya.
They have a sling/boot that pulls your toes up while you sleep. That helped stretch it out and heal. Crappy sleep though, but it did help me.
@HMG First, always listen to doctor/PT. I have had recurring calf/Achilles issues for years. At the beginning of the summer my new PT prescribed the following warmup:
(1) 5 x 45 seconds static calf raises and hold. Key is to hold it as high as possible for the full 45 seconds. My first thought was this will be easy, it was not! It actually still isn’t and I am assuming it is because I just contract the muscle harder.
(2) 3 x 15 single leg calf drops from a stair. Raise with both legs and SLOWLY lower with one leg. The slower the better.
I’ve done this before every run since the beginning of the summer and no issues so far (and I just finished a 70.3 a couple weeks ago with a PR by 34 minutes). Again, listen to your doctor/PT first. These two simple exercises worked wonders for me.
Look for a doctor that does endurance sports. I found a family doctor that does IM’s and long endurance rides. He has been super helpful because he understands me better than a normal doctor would.
Have a listen to this podcast. If i recall, they found poaitive results with collagen + vitamin C for this type of injury.