Originally Posted by i_heart_ib
Ah... how limiting are those limits? Can you still play tennis competitively or just lightly? Also, how long has it taken your achilles (after days/weeks/months of stretches, strengthening, massage) to get to the point where you can manage playing sports?
I can play tennis for a couple of hours a couple of times a week without much problem. Sometimes when I've played on hard court instead of artificial grass I notice a bit of tightness (not pain) after I finish.
BUT, I also make sure I warm/down really well. I do some basic calf raises and light stretches, then walk to the tennis club (about 10 mins), hit against the wall for about 10-15 mins making sure I don't go all out. I avoid doing heavy stretching before playing as it can temporarily reduce your strength quite significantly according more recent studies.
After playing I do some basic warm-down stretches with medium intensity and then walk home (or for about 10 mins if I'm playing elsewhere). the walking (and even a little light jogging) is one of the most beneficial recovery activities you can do. I do some stretches at home later also - usually deeper stuff including the rolling pin exercise from one of those videos.
Paying this sort of attention to my warm-up/down has taken me from being able to play only lightly once a week which left me in a bit of discomfort for a few days to being able to go for weekend walks/runs, play tennis 2-3 times at pretty normal intensity for someone in their late 30s and even compete in the odd tournament.
Lastly, one thing which I would highly recommend is wearing two pairs of socks. I use the basic Nike dri-fit ones and they are tight enough with two pairs around the heel/ankle to offer a fair bit of support (even if it's mainly moral support). The good thing about those socks is they wont be annoyingly tight around your forefoot, which some are.
Aside from that - listen to Charliefederer above. The guys has mountains of knowledge which cover lots of salient points clearly.