Pain Management – Achilles Tendon Edition

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I’m out for the count for a few days, I am injured again, but this time it is not as serious. From my research, this is fixable and quite common among active people.

I have Achilles Tendonitis, basically sore and slightly swollen tendon area at the back of the leg neat the top of the foot.  Ouch! I cannot do stretches and calf raises without pain so I need to stall my training until I can remedy the pain.

Here is how it feels there is a burning pain in the back of my food just above the heel, where the ankle meets the leg. I have slight swelling of the ankles and it is hard to flex my feet.  For more severe cases, people can have nodules and bumps on their achilles.

Pain Management is the key to surviving this issue. Cue the ice, Ibuprofen and Salon Pas patches. I am out of suggestions as to how to solve this, so I did some research.

What causes it?

In my opinion, this is an extra added effect of starting Marathon training. Actuality, this achilles tendinitis is caused by a sudden increase in exercise, like distance or time on your feet.  It is an overuse injury. There is also a probability of tight calf muscles and the inability to stretch the ankles.

Poor fitting running shoes and the need for orthotics due to pronation may be another reason for the achilles to become inflamed. Poor form is another cause that was cited by Dr Jordan Metzl (love his video), from “Inside the Dr’s Office, ” in Runner’s World.

I believe that I may have a little of each. I hate stretching. I run too hard. My running shoes probably need updating. My orthotics do need to be updated (I wish they were automatically done for me).  There is so much to do during Marathon training.

Below is a few brief suggestions as to how to solve this issue.

Western Medical Treatments

Crosstrain – Bike, swim, Yoga, pool running (Stay away from foot weight bearing exercise)

Stretches – there are quite a few such as Calf stretches, Toe stretch, Stair stretch or eccentric stretch. See below links for more stretches.

Strength Training – strong muscles can handle more intense exercise. Common sense

Physical therapy – They will probably work on stretches and uses electro-stimulation to ease the pain.

Medical Intervention, (such as an operation) – For the extreme bad cases

Orthotics – a good podiatrist can help with this.

Pain relievers – Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Advil/Motrin (Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxin), achilles straps, cold wraps and calf stretchers will help with the pain. There are many more creams and patches that you can apply as well.

Eastern or Alternative Medical Treatments

Stretches – You cannot say it enough

Yoga – Yoga is great for runners because of the strengthening and stretching it has.

Acupuncture/Acupressure – Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years and has many solutions

Energy healing – Reiki, Jo Ray, NPMDT, Healing Touch and medical Qi Gong are different energy healing systems that can be used to sooth your achy parts

As I wrap my achy feet, I wonder how long it will take for me to recover. But for now I will have to fake it. Welcome to the first week of training.

Want to know more? Here’s what I read.

Runner’s World,”Achilles Tendinitis,” http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/achilles-tendinitis

Ortho Info,”Achilles Tendinitis,” http://www.orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00147

WebMD, “Achilles Tendon Problems,” http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/achilles-tendon-problems-home-treatment

Sports Injury Clinic, “Achilles Tendonitis Exercises,” http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/ankle-achilles-shin-pain/achilles-tendonitis/strengthening-exercises-achilles-tendinitis

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